Amid speculation AOT wants to grab a 10 per cent blocking stake in travel.com.au, the company's owner, Andrew Burnes, said: "We're building a stake in the company. That's all I've got to say about it." Mr Burnes also sits on the Tourism Australia board.

Travel.com.au is already subject to two rival takeover bids and its board last month endorsed the initial, lower, bid from Webjet.

As consolidation of the online travel sector accelerates, there is speculation Mr Burnes wants to build a blocking stake to force either Wotif or Webjet to the negotiating table.

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