Hotelbeds to buy GTA as global bedbank consolidation continues

Hotelbeds Group has announced plans to buy fellow hotel wholesaler GTA, noting its “complementary operations and geographic footprints”.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

GTA has led a nomadic life in recent years, having been sold by Travelport to Kuoni for $720 million in 2011.

The deal comes after Hotelbeds also bought another major bedbank, US-based Tourico Holidays, earlier this year.

Included in the deal are GTA’s businesses covering transfers and activities, alongside the Kuoni Holdings company of GTA Group. GTA has direct contracts with all its hotels and ancillary providers.

The Kuoni tour operating brand is not included in the agreement.

In a statement, Joan Vilà, executive chairman of Hotelbeds Group said:

“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.”

As part of the deal, GTA’s TravelCube and TravelBound will also join the group.

GTA’s acquisition of MTS Globe, which took place last September, is not included in the deal and has been bought back by its previous owners, Rembert Euling, under the stewardship of Francisco Girona and Michael Frey.

GTA CEO Ivan Walter says the acquisition is a “milestone for the industry”.

“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.”

The deal is second significant strategic move by HotelBeds following its sale by TUI Group to Cinven and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in April 2016 for $1.3 billion.

GTA once had a sizeable consumer-facing service in Octopus Travel.

Kuoni shut the brand in November 2012, preferring, it said, to concentrate on the B2B wholesale services provided by the company.

GTA will remain an independent company, with its existing management structure in place, until regulatory approvals are obtained.

HotelBeds says GTA will then become an additional business unit within Hotelbeds Group while the integration with Hotelbeds Group’s Bedbank unit is planned.

An official adds:

“Only at that stage would any changes to our respective businesses be considered.”

NB: Additional reporting by Kevin May.

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Martin Cowen

About the Writer :: Martin Cowen

Martin Cowen is contributing editor for tnooz and is based in the UK. Besides reporting and editing, he also oversees our sponsored content initiative and works directly with clients to produce articles and reports. For the past several years he has worked as a freelance writer, specialising in B2B distribution and technology. Before freelancing, from 2000-2008, he was launch editor for, the first online-only B2B daily news service for the UK travel sector.



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