Hotelbeds has always been one of those under the radar type brands, overshadowed by more widely known consumer facing names, and the less glamorous subsidiary of TUI until it was divested of, and snapped up by private equity last year.
That PE deal has given the business firepower to make acquisitions and you have to respect the ambition and strategic move to strike the deal with GTA in particular.
The bedbank sector has undergone huge consolidation in the past decade, which is not surprising given that its a commodity product with wafer margins. This means that differentiation has to be mainly driven through superior technology and global strategic partnerships which is just what Hotelbeds will now have a real lead on.
It will take at least and year and a half for Hotelbeds to integrate Tourico and GTA onto ne single platform, according to the bed bank’s executive chairman. Joan Vilà told this week’s Phocuswright Europe conference in Amsterdam while scale was important it was not the only benefit from such deals. He said scale and efficiency was important in a fragmented hotel market for properties that need B2C intermediaries to compete with the big players. Vilà said the sale of Hotelbeds in June by Tui Travel to private equity investors Cinven and CPPIB meant it now had owners that has the firm at their core. “They have really added growth in strategic positions,” he said. “They are very supportive and saw an opportunity in consolidating the bed bank marketplace.”