Wotif’s share price has fallen by half over the past year, and now it has called in Goldman Sachs in case buyers come knocking.
The online hotel booking company has signed the investment bank as a defence adviser, according to the AFR’s street talk column.
As the report points out, Wotif’s market value is down to just $551 million, though it has $116 million of cash and no debt.
It’s also pointed out that it is unclear if the company plans to put itself up for sale, or just be ready incase someone tried to take it over.
It has a lot of the market in Australia, and — based on the state of its balance sheet — would be an attractive target, probably for one of its overseas rivals.
The AFR says the most likely buyers would be US groups Expedia and Priceline. They could find savings by combining their Australian offices with Wotif and on technology synergies.
Most analysts have a $2.83 target price on the company, which is 10.5% higher than its closing price of $2.56.
There’s more at the Fin.