Expedia's Wotif Group sells Arnold Travel Technology to Serko

Australia-based online travel specialist Wotif has sold its booking software unit to Serko in a cash deal.

New Zealand-listed cloud travel and expense management software company Serko has acquired Arnold Travel Technology from Wotif Group in an all-cash deal.

The buyout was completed for what Serko described as a "confidential nominal sum".

Darrin Grafton, Serko CEO.

Wotif is part of the Nasdaq-listed Expedia Group.

Serko said it expects this transaction to boost revenues for the six months to September 30 by 7 percent to 8 percent, but have little impact on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) until the second half of the 2016 financial year.

The buyout is forecast to lift Serko's Australasian transaction volume by at least 20 percent.

"This is an important strategic investment for Serko, given we now expect around $4 billion of Australia's corporate travel spend to be booked through Serko's platforms," Serko chief executive Darrin Grafton said.

Serko, which develops software-as-a-service (SaaS) booking and expense management systems, listed on the NZX in the middle of 2014. Last month, it warned it would not meet sales forecasts in its first financial year as a listed company.

Serko told investors that sales would be 4 percent to 6 percent below forecast, due to of delays in launching its mobile app and in shifting customers to its new expense management system, Serko Incharge.

Disclosure: Rob O'Neill has shares in Serko.


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