Helloworld completes $70m acquisition of Express Travel Group

Helloworld completes $70m acquisition of Express Travel Group
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Helloworld Travel Limited announced the completion of the 100 per cent acquisition of the Express Travel Group (ETG) in a sale worth $70 million.

    The $70 million acquisition is set to be paid in two tranches.

    The first will be a combination of a cash payment of $40m and the issue of new Helloworld shares equal to $10m, while the second tranche will comprise a $15m cash payment and the issue of $5m worth of Helloworld shares.

    HLO CEO and managing director, Andrew Burnes said, “We are pleased to complete this acquisition and look forward to working with Tom Manwaring and his team as they continue to support their agent networks and customers in the years ahead.”

    The acquisition received almost total support from those voting on the decision to acquire ETG, with 99.75 per cent of the votes being for the move.

    The Helloworld Directors said the following of the transaction: 

    • It presents an opportunity for Helloworld to expand its existing retail network presence in Australia and New Zealand; 
    • It is strategically compelling for Helloworld as it recognises that the ticket consolidation business of ETG and Helloworld together will enable a competitively stronger business; 
    • It represents an attractive financial impact, with earnings accretion expected from FY2024 and a reasonable multiplier of 7 times forecast earnings for FY2023;
    • It enables strong synergies through the use of Helloworld’s Smart Tickets solutions, enabling the ETG agent networks to engage with the best in market solutions while continuing to work with the ETG team; and 
    • The two-tranche payment and escrow agreement for the consideration shares provides a further de-risking of the transaction.

    Founded as Orient Express Travel Group in 1983, Tom Manwaring joined in 2000 after 29 years with Cathay Pacific and took full ownership of the business in 2003. In 2014 the word “Orient” was dropped from the name.

    Today ETG operates an air ticket consolidation business, retail travel networks and cruise and package wholesaling in Australia and New Zealand with a national support network and offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.

    The company employs over 100 personnel and encompasses a suite of brands, including Express Tickets, Independent Travel Group, Select Travel Group, Alatus, italk travel & cruise, Creative Cruising AU/NZ, and First Travel Group, YOU Travel, and Lifestyle Holidays in New Zealand.

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