View Full Version : Travelzoo Free Shares From 1998

01-29-2005, 10:41 AM
Read this, and maybe it will benefit you if you happened to be one who took the free shares. I did elect to get free shares from someone way back when, but I'll be danged if I can remember if it was these guys or what. If anyone does gain with this news, please let me know how you were able to piece together their proof of ownership. Btw, there is a real Yahoo news glib about this, so it is for real...sid


Remember "free shares" in Travelzoo? Worth $$$ now!

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OK - I understand this deal won't work without some pretty strict prerequisites - but I suspect this is just the kind of place to find folks who would have, in 1998, signed up for the free shares giveaway of dot com wannabe travelzoo.com.

Apologies if it's already been posted somewhere, but a search on "travelzoo" doesn't find it - so here goes.

Back in '98, giving everyone 3 free shares was their gimmic - no questions asked, and all you really needed was an email addy. I signed up for them, got the email confirmations, and promptly forgot all about it.

Last month, a coworker said he'd seen TZOO as a stock on a tear - and I thought - naw, couldn't be. As it turns out, when travelzoo became a real company in the US with tradable shares - they had offered all their "former Bahamian shareholders" (us freebie folks) the opportunity to exchange the free ones 2 for 1 for real registered, tradeable shares. So the 3 free shares would have become 6. Since nobody (well very few) responded to this offer (hey, if you were like me, you don't still have an email addy from 1998) - it expired.

What happened next is priceless (well, actualy $544 for me). Travelzoo management got wind that there were folks finding out the "you're too late" story, so they put together a program to buy folks out - at the same price you would have gotten. They budgeted $220K for this in the 4th quarter last year - but apparently they paid out nearly a million - and this is one reason the stock is down in the 60s now rather than near $100 where it was when I submitted my claim.

So - if you're one of the folks who signed up - get the claim form at

I sent mine in in late december registered mail - reciept says they got it on the 22nd. My 6 shares would have been worth $544 by their formula, and damned if today I didn't get the check. I wanted to wait to make sure I got paid - since you have to send them in quite a bit of personal info if you're eligible.

Pass it on to the freebie addicts you know - we're bound to find some more takers. Post back to this thread if you're a winner!



This is an account recovery for anyone who might have gotten this, and like me, lost all mail confirmation from back in that 1998 timeframe. I hope someone here gets lucky, some people have posted that they actually made between 500 and a thousand simply by surfacing proof of ownership. sv

01-30-2005, 02:25 PM
Sid, I remember the offer, and didn't bother with it....instead I bought Enron for around $9 a share....
what's that old saw about "don't look a gift horse..."
Nice going though on your part....
Got any picks for tomorrow?
I've been betting on UBET...with the same luck I have at the tables...craps and pool

01-30-2005, 02:34 PM
Post deleted by SnakebyteXX

01-30-2005, 02:39 PM
Another looming risk chronicled in the filing is the cost of compensating several hundred thousand former shareholders who got free stock in a 1998 promotional giveaway.

Back in its infancy, Travelzoo gave away 5 million free shares to about 700,000 people who registered to use its Web site and search engine. The stock giveaway was a controversial idea, and ultimately the Securities and Exchange Commission took a dim view on such undertakings. But the stockholders were allowed to keep their shares.

The trouble occurred two years ago when Travelzoo merged with another corporation in a move to officially relocate from the Bahamas to the U.S. Travelzoo stockholders with free shares from the 1998 offering were given until April 25, 2004, to exchange those securities for shares of the new company. But many free shareholders didn't meet the deadline, either because they no longer had the securities or because they never heard about the merger.

After the deadline passed, Travelzoo's directors decided that the 4.1 million shares it set aside for the free stockholders were no longer valid. The company reduced its number of outstanding shares from 19 million to 15 million.

Coincidentally, Travelzoo's run to the stratosphere began right around the same time it declared those shares invalid. On April 26, the first day of trading after the board's decision, Travelzoo's shares opened at $8.31. Within a month, the stock was trading at $19 a share.

Fearing possible legal action over its decision to declare the 4.1 million shares invalid, Travelzoo did some backpedaling last month. The company announced in October that it would make cash payments to any former stockholders who could prove that they had received free shares and weren't aware of the need to turn them in.

In its quarter filing, Travelzoo set aside $220,000 to reimburse its former shareholders. But the company said it's impossible to say how much it might end up owing.

"The total future liability under this program is not reliably estimable, because it will depend on the ultimate number of valid requests received and future levels of the company's common stock price," the filing says.

You've got to believe that the higher Travelzoo's stock keeps rising, the more former shareholders will be digging around in their desk drawers, looking for proof they got their shares.

link (http://www.thestreet.com/pf/markets/matthewgoldstein/10194697.html)