- Özgür Töre
Travelstart has completed its acquisition of Southern Africa’s Club Travel Group for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition, which sees Travelstart wholly acquiring the Club Travel Group and its subsidiaries, was first announced on June 2019 and the deal was subject to the approval of South Africa’s Competition Commission. The transaction has now been formally completed and approved.
The acquisition will boost Travelstart's offering by adding Club Travel’s established complementary corporate and franchise divisions to create one of Africa’s largest, full-service travel groups. Club Travel will continue as a standalone company within the Travelstart portfolio. Thebe Tourism Holdings (Thebe), the majority shareholder of the Club Travel Group since 2009, has sold its stake in the Club Travel Group to Travelstart. Thebe and Travelstart have jointly invested in Club Travel Corporate, a level one B-BBEE rated division of the Club Travel Group.
“We are thrilled to officially welcome Club Travel as the newest member of the Travelstart family,” said CEO Stephan Ekbergh. “Together we will continue to concentrate on building the best place for people to plan, book and manage travel.”
Club Travel’s Managing Director and founder Wally Gaynor said, “We are delighted to join Africa’s leading online travel agency and we know that Travelstart’s knowledge and footprint will help us ensure a sustainable future for Club Travel in an increasingly technology-dependent market.”
Africa’s travel and tourism industry is worth an estimated $194 billion and digitization among consumers is still growing. With the acquisition, Travelstart and Club Travel enter a co-operation which will enable the former to expand its business and reach new customers, and the latter to gain the expertise needed to deliver digital product innovation and remain competitive.