Cruise

Private equity acquisition sees Ecruising join LeisureCom Group

Ecruising founders Brett and Philippa Dudley have announced the sale of all their shares in the company to private equity group Skybound Fidelis Investment Limited.

The acquisition will see Ecruising become a strategic business partner with LeisureCom Group, which is also owned by Skybound.

Started by Brett Dudley in January 2000, Ecruising was the first Australian agency to develop direct API connections with major cruise lines, and generated over $30 million in sales during the last financial year.

In February 2016, Dudley expanded the business with the creation of high-end luxury travel brand Latitude 33, which also forms part of the company’s boutique range of cruise products.

Dudley and his team will continue to run the business from their base in Sydney’s CBD, with LeisureCom Group working alongside the Ecruising team to grow the respective businesses.

“I always wanted to get our business to the 20-year mark – a real milestone achievement,” Dudley said.

“It’s been quite a journey and I have loved every minute of it, especially the people I’ve met along the way.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of the trade, my amazing staff and my wife. We’ve received some incredible accolades along the way, something I’m very proud of and will always be with me in spirit.

“It’s time to look to the future and start to explore the world. We have built a successful travel business by consistently delivering exceptional product and experiences to the Australian travelling public.

“I am excited about what the future holds for Ecruising and Latitude 33, and I am confident that LeisureCom Group is the right partner to help us achieve the next stage of growth”.

Skybound Australia managing director Jeremy Thorpe said: “The Skybound Capital Group is a $2 billion global wealth business which is currently growing its exposure to the Australian market.

“In addition to our growing private equity portfolio, Skybound Australia is also growing its private debt and commercial property exposures, and it is targeting $0.25 billion in assets under management within the next 12 to 18 months.

“Our key focuses in Australia are currently in the property, consumer lending and the travel entertainment and leisure markets. We see strong growth opportunities in all of these markets.”

LeisureCom Group CEO Steve Chant said: “Ecruising is a well-established cruise travel company that complements our existing brands. It will instantly increase our product range and distribution opportunities, ultimately delivering a better choice for our customer base and increasing our revenue streams.

“Globally, there is no denying that there is an insatiable appetite for cruising, and we are excited to be part of this rapidly growing travel sector.”

Featured image: iStock/dem10

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Events

Women in Travel Awards 2020 postponed

Did you (or were you about to) submit your entry for this year’s awards? If so, you’ll definitely want to give this a read.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Airbnb commits $400m to hosts to cover COVID-19 cancellations

by Christian Fleetwood

The short-stay accommodation giant has also secured a $1.6 billion investment from two private equity firms.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline staff “incredibly fearful” about operating repatriation flights

Qantas will reportedly recruit cabin crew staff from a New Zealand subsidiary, after a call for Australian volunteers for scheduled repatriation flights failed.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“You can make a difference – just keep it simple”: Aussie agent’s plea to airlines

An Aussie travel agent has called for airlines to simplify the way they distribute information, to help ease the stress the current system is placing on advisors.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Majority of Greg Mortimer passengers test positive for COVID-19

Aussie cruise passengers on board the Greg Mortimer, who have been in lockdown since 22 March, have finally received word they will be flying home in the next few days.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Museum challenges fans to recreate artworks at home

LA’s Getty Museum has issued an artistic challenge to its social media followers, and the results are equal parts clever and hilarious.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise Wrap: CMW and Hurtigruten extend suspensions, Carnival’s new shareholder + MORE

Travel Weekly is doing its best to prevent you from watching Netflix’s entire content catalogue with plenty of news in this week’s Cruise Wrap.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

From sundowners to Zoom yoga: How Bench Africa is keeping agents engaged

In a time of self-isolation and social distancing, keeping personal touch as a key part of your business is more important than ever. Bench Africa is doing this in spades.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

British police dye ‘Blue Lagoon’ black to deter tourists during COVID-19 lockdown

Despite a nationwide lockdown, and despite it having nearly the same pH as bleach, an abandoned quarry is still drawing visitors. So, the police have responded in a very unique way.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Spencer Travel’s Penny Spencer

We’ve given our Midweek Interview a facelift to suit the times, starting off with the managing director of Spencer Travel and industry legend Penny Spencer.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas crew who tested positive for COVID-19 were not required to quarantine

Despite later testing positive for COVID-19, four members of Qantas’ cabin crew were not required to quarantine after operating a repatriation flight from Chile.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Austrian authorities face possible class action over COVID-19 outbreak at ski resort

Authorities in the Austrian state of Tyrol are facing a potential class-action lawsuit over their handling of a COVID-19 outbreak at a popular ski resort.

Share

CommentComments