Le boat & Sunsail plot future post-Travelopia sale

Le boat & Sunsail plot future post-Travelopia sale

TUI has sold its specialist business division, Travelopia, to private equity firm KKR, with the sale completed last night as £325 million (AU$524.6 million) changed hands.

According to Travel Weekly UK, the deal will be completely wrapped up within six to 12 weeks, and will see Travelopia’s 53 brands leave the corporate travel giant to become part of one of the world’s biggest private equity companies.

But chief executive Will Waggott insisted that it would still be “business as usual” for the company’s 4,013 staff, with no change to company locations or staff.

“This is going to be really good for everyone in the business to have a new owner who will focus on what makes these businesses good and invest in what they need to grow after nearly three years of uncertainty, which made it difficult for the whole of employee base,” he said.

As a result of the sale, Waggott also said that several Travelopia brands will now work more closely with travel agents, including tour operators Citalia, Exodus and Quark Expeditions.

Among its 53 brands, Travelopia operates le boat, Sunsail and The Moorings, which hold more interest locally for agents.

Martin Froggatt, managing director of expeditions, education and events, added, “From the trade’s perspective, brands like Citalia will get a lot closer to the trade. Having been part of Tui, it has been difficult to do that.

“We have not had huge investment while we have been going through the sales process. I think KKR will be the key to unlocking that conundrum.”

Waggott added that the deal would result in significant investment in technology, from brands’ websites to consolidating back-office systems, social media engagement and CRM, while the group was likely to expand into China, selling some of its brands to the Chinese market.

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