Burnes takes the reins
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.