Burnes takes the reins

Travel Bulletin - - STATE OF THE INDUSTRY -

No­body in the in­dus­try was sur­prised when the merger pro­posal be­tween the AOT Group and Hel­loworld was over­whelm­ingly en­dorsed at an Ex­tra­or­di­nary Gen­eral Meet­ing which took place late last month. The deal re­quired rat­i­fi­ca­tion from Hel­loworld share­hold­ers, and while an in­de­pen­dent ex­pert’s re­port con­cluded it was “not fair, but rea­son­able,” it seems to have been the pre­ferred op­tion in the ab­sence of any su­pe­rior of­fer. AOT ceo An­drew Burnes has now be­come head of the com­bined busi­nesses, while Cinzia Burnes is an ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, ex­pand­ing her for­mer role as AOT’S chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer. Later this month the rubber will hit the road, with in­terim re­sults for Hel­loworld to be re­leased on Fe­bru­ary 24th, along with up­dated out­look on the com­bined group - cer­tain to be in­trigu­ing read­ing. One thing is cer­tain - for long-suf­fer­ing share­hold­ers, fran­chisees, sup­pli­ers and staff at least they now have some cer­tainty - along with a heav­ily com­mit­ted ceo and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor who have sig­nif­i­cant skin in the game with a 40% share­hold­ing. The deal will also see Hel­loworld’s shares con­sol­i­dated on a 6 to 1 ba­sis.

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