When the going gets tough, the tough get to making money. While most of us were wasting our time analysing the scrapped Snowy Hydro float last week, a sprightly online travel company, Wotif, slipped on to the sharemarket and went off like a rocket.

What a contrast. With the Snowy Hydro float, people who clearly did not know what they were doing launched a jaded attempt to squeeze the last drop of money out of the fading infrastructure boom. At Wotif, people who can spot good value at 50 paces floated their gutsy "last-minute accommodation" business that has the potential to be a world leader.

Wotif was issued to investors at $2 - it listed on Friday and closed the day at $3.32. That's a nice 60 per cent profit for everyone concerned, including chairman Dick McIlwain who got half a million shares in the deal.

McIlwain is a man to watch. He's got an eye for value. He's also the managing director of Unitab, who goes to work tomorrow with two merger deals sitting on his desk.

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