Expedia (EXPE) to buy Wotif, Bed Bath & Beyond announce new buyback program and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to buy Wild Flavors.

Markets were heading lower on Monday morning after news was released that Expedia (EXPE) agreed to buy Wotif in a deal that will total $658 million. Expedia is widely known for being a big name in the online vacation booking industry. Wotif.com Holdings Ltd. is an online booking company that specializes in the Asia-Pacific regions of the world. The deal was for $3.09 per share, which was a 30% premium over the Wotif’s shares last week. The company posted revenue during the second half of last year that totaled $71.1 million. The deal will not be finalized until the shareholders of Wotif have agreed. The deal is expected to close during the fourth-quarter of this year. Wotif chairman, Dick Mcllwain, said, “As a board we have carefully assessed the changing dynamics of the markets in which we operate and the uncertainties and risks that we would face if we were to continue as an independent company. With that in mind we believe that shareholder value will be maximized and that Wotif Group will be best positioned for the future, through the proposed transaction.”

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) were falling slightly after news was released that the company approved a $2 billion buyback program. The buyback is expected to be completed in 2016. They still have a lingering $861 million remaining shares to buyback from a previous program. The company also owns Christmas Tree Shops, BuyBuy Baby, Cost Plus World Market and a few others. Chief Executive of the company, Steven Temares, said, “Our board authorized this new share repurchase program based upon its continued confidence in our company’s long-term growth potential, financial outlook and cash flow generation. We also believe this is an opportune time, and method, to return value to our shareholders.”

Shares of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) were on the rise after the company reported that they would be buying Wild Flavors in a $3 billion deal. This move will allow ADM to step into the flavoring and health-conscious food sectors.  ADM is known for being one of the largest grain traders in the world and a major player in the food processing industry. The deal is supposed to close by the end of the year. Wild Flavors is a Swiss-German company. ADM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Woertz, said, “Together, ADM and Wild Flavors will create one of the leading flavor and specialty ingredient companies in the world, with sales approaching $2.5 billion and significant room to grow.”

That’s all for today,

Warren Gates, Normandy Research

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