Worldchoice TTA merger poised to proceed

The Worldchoice-Travel Trust Association merger is poised to proceed following court ­approval on Tuesday for a ­document detailing the terms to be sent to shareholders.

The 80-page “circular” ­explaining the TTA offer to more than 600 Worldchoice shareholders will go out on August 11 bringing a six-month process near to a close.

Shareholders will vote on the deal at an extraordinary general meeting on September 3 at the Royal Air Force Club in Piccadilly, London.

The TTA offer, of £2.75 per share plus £800,000 to be paid into a trust and shared among members after five years, has not changed.

Worldchoice chairman ­Colin Heal said: “It is a good deal, and not just for the money.

“It will make us the biggest consortium with about 900 members. We have the most well known brand and the TTA intends to develop that. The enlarged group will provide investment for expansion and marketing opportunities for members.”

But Heal believes the cash injection from the TTA will be welcomed.

“It is quite common for members to hold 10,000 shares and almost 300 hold more than 1,000. It is a very good time to have that injection of capital” he said.

“The deal is worth £4.4 million to shareholders and there could be £1.3 million in the trust fund after five years. Everyone will get something.”

Heal insisted the delay in proceeding with the merger and offer to shareholders was purely legal. “There have been no obstacles,” he said. “I have read reports there was a problem. It is rubbish.”

TTA director Todd Carpenter said: “It has taken so long because the mechanics are like the takeover of a public ­company.

“I don’t think any of us ­appreciated how complicated the process would be. Maybe we were a little naïve and ­optimistic. But it has given us time to understand the Worldchoice structure. Nothing has made us rethink. Everybody is committed.”

Heal revealed Worldchoice is poised to announce a record profit for 2007 – its second in consecutive years.

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