Webjet swoops in on JacTravel to birth B2B travel heavyweight

It’s been a year of acquisitions in the global B2B bedbanks space. Following Hotelbeds’ purchase of GTA and Tourico Holidays earlier this year, Webjet has just announced its acquisition for an undisclosed portion of London-based B2B hotel supplier JacTravel from private equity firm Vitruvian Partners.

The acquisition will see JacTravel – including its namesake brand and totalstay.com – join Sunhotels, Lots of Hotels and FIT Ruum’s in Webjet’s B2B division, WebBeds, a move which could give rise to a new B2B travel giant boasting an annual transacted volume of over A$1 billion (US$800 million).

JacTravel, with its particular strength in Europe, currently has a portfolio of 10,000 directly contracted hotels, 7,000 of which are unique to WebBeds. Additionally, the 3,000 overlapping hotel contracts will further deepen the company’s allocation and availability.

WebBeds’ global footprint is expected to get a boost with offices in 19 countries and a headcount of over 900 employees, allowing it to support its worldwide network of partners. It will also feature a global portfolio of more than 225,000 hotels, of which 17,000 are directly contracted, in all regions of the globe.

John Guscic, managing director of Webjet, said: “This acquisition is transformational to WebBeds, creating the (second top) B2B player globally and in the all-important European market.

“By consolidating with like-minded partners like JacTravel, we believe we will drive even greater synergies that will benefit the wider travel industry,” he added.

Terry Williamson, CEO of JacTravel, commented: “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.”

The transaction is expected to close at the end of August 2017. In the weeks and months ahead, Webjet will be working with the JacTravel team to integrate the businesses.

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