Graeme?s now even richer
IT wasn't a question of what if, but of how much yesterday as Rockhampton-born entrepreneur Graeme Wood watched the value of his company Wotif.com skyrocket past $600 million.
The company was launched on the Australian Stock Exchange at a value of 3.06 per share, more than a dollar higher than paid by investors during an initial public offering.
At close of business yesterday the share price had reached $3.32 putting Mr Wood, 59, at the helm of a company worth more than $600 million and increasing his personal worth by at least $50 million.
"It's a bit of a surprise to be honest but that's what the market says they are worth, it's encouraging,'' he said.
Mr Wood was celebrating quietly with staff and fellow shareholders yesterday afternoon but said he wouldn't be popping open the champagne.
"I've got to fly to Sydney later today but I suppose I will have a quiet drink at some point.''
He said the public launch of the accommodation service would spark a new era for the company: "It's a new stage for the company but I would say an exciting one.''
Mr Wood was born in Rockhampton in 1947 but moved away when his father Alf, an accounting machine mechanic, found work in Brisbane. But with two sets of grandparents in Rockhampton, Mr Wood visited regularly as a child and adult.
In 2000 he came up with the idea for Wotif.com ? a website which offers last minute accommodation bookings at discounted rates via the Internet.