Webjet have entered into an agreement to acquire JacTravel from Vitruvian Partners and its management team who will retain a shareholding in the enlarged Group. The acquisition will see JacTravel join Sunhotels, Lots of Hotels and FIT Ruum’s in the company’s B2B division WebBeds, to become one of the world’s largest B2B travel providers.
London-based JacTravel is among the largest independent B2B platforms in Europe. The company operates two distinct brands, JacTravel and totalstay.com, both of which will now become part of the WebBeds business.
Adding JacTravel to the WebBeds’ family will boost its annual total transacted volume to over AUD 1 billion (£600 million) and will increase the company’s global footprint with offices in 19 countries. With a headcount of over 900 employees, WebBeds will be able to provide truly local support to its worldwide network of partners. It will feature a global portfolio of more than 225,000 hotels, of which 17,000 are directly contracted, in all regions of the globe.
WebBeds is bullish about the future growth of the travel industry. The growth rate of international tourism arrivals is consistently outpacing the expansion of the global economy, while the global commercial air fleet is projected to double in size over the next decade to accommodate rising passenger demand.
Terry Williamson, CEO of JacTravel, commented:
“Our partnership with Vitruvian has been invaluable over the last three years in enabling JacTravel to achieve a step-change in its scale, technology, and geographical reach. I thank the whole Vitruvian team for their unstinting support, encouragement and contribution. The combination with Webjet is the next logical step in our global expansion vision which will enable us to offer even greater wider reach to our hotel partners and greater choice and value to our customers.”
Ben Johnson, a Partner at Vitruvian, commented:
“Since its foundation over 40 years ago, JacTravel has been an innovator in the travel industry. The management team’s leadership and vision over the past three years have continued this ethos as JacTravel has used technology to drive growth and enter new markets. Vitruvian’s partnership with the team has been rewarding as we have helped drive accelerated growth through strategic initiatives, including the implementation of a leading travel technology platform, the opening of the Beijing and Orlando offices and the acquisition of TotalStay Group. We are excited to see the Company avail itself of new opportunities as part of Webjet and wish them all well for the future.”
John Guscic, Managing Director of Webjet commented:
“This acquisition is transformational to WebBeds, creating the #2 B2B player globally and the #2 B2B player in the important European market. WebBeds has always focused on helping our clients succeed and enabling our partners to respond to fast-changing market trends. By consolidating with like-minded partners like JacTravel, we believe we will drive even greater synergies that will benefit the wider travel industry. JacTravel is a company we have worked with for many years, and we have the greatest amount of respect for their business. We look forward to working with the JacTravel team in the weeks and months ahead as we integrate our businesses and develop the best possible outcomes for all of our partners and clients.”
The transaction is expected to close at the end of August 2017. JacTravel and its shareholders were advised by Evercore (M&A), Mayer Brown (company legal), Fladgates (management legal), Deloitte (company tax), PwC (tax structuring) and Vulpes (management tax).