Wholesalers

Helloworld to purchase Excite Holidays’ booking platform, as former staff resurface

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

KPMG administrators have succeeded in finding a buyer for Excite Holidays’ proprietary online booking platform, after initially receiving 17 expressions of interest.

Helloworld Travel has agreed to acquire the platform to help boost its B2B booking system, Ready Rooms, and offer better functionality for agents.

“This acquisition will further develop Helloworld Travel’s business to business technologies in the retail division, following on from the successful launch of the company’s proprietary mid-office technology, ResWorld, in 2019,” a statement from Helloworld said.

Earlier this week, KPMG’s administrators revealed they had “entered into exclusivity with a preferred party” for the purchase of Excite’s platform, after three interested parties submitted non-binding expressions of interest.

The administrators were planning to provide an update on the sale at the second meeting of creditors on Monday, according to its much-anticipated report.

Speaking to Travel Weekly, a Helloworld spokesperson said the cost of the acquisition is “commercially sensitive, but was not significant”.

“We hope to complete the sale as quickly as possible and don’t anticipate it will be a long process,” the spokesperson said.

Travel Weekly has contacted KPMG for comment.

Former Excite staff find new roles at rival

Meanwhile, three former staff members of Excite have joined rival Stuba, as the company currently undergoes a restructure.

Paul Groundwater has been appointed as Stuba’s head of sales for the Pacific region, Brooke Hobson has come on board as the company’s state sales manager for NSW and the ACT, and Stuart Chalmers has been named business development manager for Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

In a statement to Travel Weekly, Stuba’s chief information officer, Mark Luckey, said: “It took a couple of days to get used to the idea of hiring an ex-competitor, and after a decade of busting my guts, five minutes of skyping with Paul highlighted two things for me: my god, he knew his stuff – he was clearly going to be great.

“Secondly, I had to acknowledge that for the next evolution of Stuba, someone else needed to focus the effort of sales and development. It was hard to let go. But when I did, it felt right – a real leap of faith.

“When talking to and meeting with Brooke and Stuart, I was left with the same impression – great people, awesome energy, seeing an opportunity to create something anew.

“For Stuba, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity to take what we love about ourselves but and merge the ideas from two companies to create what will be the very best agent-only wholesale travel company in Australia. It’s a pretty thrilling opportunity.”

Featured image: iStock/Fokusiert

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