Hotelbeds Agrees to Buy Wholesaler GTA

Credit: skift.com

Hotelbeds Group

Hotelbeds Group is buying GTA. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval. Hotelbeds Group



Skift Take: Hotelbeds appears determined to buy up the competition in order to retain its dominant position. What is unclear though is what happens to Kuoni Group once the transaction completes as GTA represents almost two-thirds of its turnover. Will it continue on as a smaller company or continue to be broken up?

— Patrick Whyte

There looks set to be further consolidation in the wholesale accommodation sector after market leader Hotelbeds Group announced a deal to buy rival GTA from Kuoni Group.


The new owners of Hotelbeds, Cinven Capital Management and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have pursued an aggressive strategy of consolidation since purchasing the company from tour operator TUI Group for $1.3 billion.


Wholesalers like Hotelbeds source rooms and other travel products before selling them on to tour operators, airlines and travel agents.


No figure has been given and it is still subject to regulatory approval but if it is given the green light the newly enlarged Hotelbeds will have a dominant position. Earlier this year it also agreed to acquire Orlando-based Tourico Holidays.


GTA is currently part Kuoni and it is unclear what the sale means for that business.


The Swiss company is a shadow of its former self having sold off its tour operating brands and been taken private by private equity firm EQT.


According to Kuoni’s most recent financial accounts, GTA made up about 60 percent of its total turnover and accounted for about a third of its total operating profit.


When the sale is complete the company will consist of a B2B group travel business, destination management unit and visa processing division. It is possible that Kuoni could continue to be broken up by its new owner.


Interestingly, the deal does not include inbound travel company MTS Globe, which GTA only bought in December last year for $59 million. The company has been taken back by its previous shareholder for a undisclosed fee.


When the deal is completed Kuoni will hold a “significant minority position” in the combined businesses. But until then it will remain a separate entity, as will Tourico Holidays.


Joan Vilà, executive chairman of Hotelbeds Group commented: “It gives me great pleasure to announce that GTA will be joining Hotelbeds Group.


“This deal brings another great bedbank to the Hotelbeds Group family, following the announcement in February that Tourico Holidays will also be integrating with us. Both of these important deals clearly underline our steadfast commitment to accelerate the growth of our business both organically and via M&A activity.”


Ivan Walter, Chief Executive of GTA added: “We are excited by the opportunity that combining forces with Hotelbeds Group brings. Our history and proven track record speak for themselves, and by coming together with Hotelbeds Group we can bring together a wealth of experience, commitment and a clear strategic focus on the B2B sector. We believe that today’s news is a milestone for the industry, and great news for our respective suppliers and customers. ”


Top Stories

farawayyachtingcharters - Easy Branches
botoxfillerveintheraphyinphuket - Easy Branches

Latest in Travel

American Airlines’ Response To Its Social Media Moment Came After Learning From United

All the facts aren't known yet about the incident on board the American Airlines flight before it departed San Francisco but there are many lessons to be learned already. At the least, American Airlines' mea culpa came quickly as the carrier obviously learned from United's missteps. -Dennis Schaal
  • 9 hours ago

Kayak CEO on Giving Consumers a Choice and 10 Other Digital Trends This Week

These are the digital trends we were talking about this week. -Sarah Enelow
  • 12 hours ago

Air Berlin Sees On-Time Performance Suffer in Transformation Toll

This decline in service is due to wrenching changes. Major shareholder Etihad has pushed Air Berlin to trim its fleet size, to focus on longer haul routes, and to carve out its leisure routes into a unit that may be sold to TUI. -Sean O'Neill
  • 14 hours ago

The Effects of Trump’s First 100 Days and 9 Other Tourism Trends This Week

These are the tourism trends we were talking about this week. -Sarah Enelow
  • 15 hours ago

BP Gulf Oil Spill Damage Valued at $17.2 Billion as Tourism Still Struggles

The BP oil spill scared tourists away from the Gulf Coast for years and effects still linger. These states, especially Mississippi and Alabama, can't afford to have their cruise terminals, beaches, wildlife, and seafood poisoned. -Sarah Enelow
  • 16 hours ago

United President on Potential Boycott and 6 Other Aviation Trends This Week

These are the aviation trends we were talking about this week. -Sarah Enelow
  • 17 hours ago

This Tiny Resort Island Doesn’t Want Uber or Lyft

If Austin tourism can still thrive despite the loss of Uber and Lyft, perhaps Block Island's resistance to ridesharing apps isn't a bad thing, either. -Deanna Ting
  • 18 hours ago

Cranky on the Web: More United, Of Course

Story On United 3411 and Dr David Dao – Fox 11 News Somehow I missed this last week, but the ... Read More
  • 20 hours ago

United CEO Oscar Munoz Will Not Automatically Become Board Chair in 2018

It's easy to blame this on the incident last week in Chicago. And perhaps the two things are related. But it's not a big surprise Munoz will not become board chair next year. He had a heart transplant last year, and he has been reducing his role over time. -Brian Sumers
  • 1 day ago

TSA Video Seeks to Reassure Transgender Travelers

Sadly, it seems the TSA is still far away from recognizing that its policy requiring travelers to assume a gender when passing through security causes distress to many members of the LGBTQ community. -Andrew Sheivachman
  • 2 days ago

Amtrak CEO Says New York Rail Troubles Will Worsen Without More Funding

Travelers to New York depend on trains -- safety issues and chronic delays must be addressed before tackling the aesthetic horror that is Penn Station. Hopefully Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure plan will come through and finally make New York's rail system world-class. -Sarah Enelow
  • 2 days ago

Norwegian Air to Debut London to Singapore Route With Discounted Airfares

The budget airline's expansion to Asia will be operated by Norwegian UK, a Gatwick-based subsidiary. Insiders hint that the low-cost carrier will use this subsidiary to open other routes in Asia, Africa, and South America. -Sean O'Neill
  • 2 days ago