Etraveli, a Sweden-based online travel agency, was just sold for more than $565 million. Pictured here is one of the company's brands, Travelstart. Skift
Skift Take: Etraveli was sold for more than twice what it fetched just a year and a half ago. That's an impressive trajectory — and it looks like all parties are invested in continuing that kind of growth.
— Hannah Sampson
A month after news emerged that Chinese travel giant Ctrip was considering a bid for Etraveli, the Nordic online travel site has been snapped up by someone else.
CVC Capital Partners, a global private equity firm with headquarters in Luxembourg, paid 508 million euros, or more than $565 million, for Etraveli in a deal announced Tuesday.
That’s significantly higher than the purchase price the last time the travel company changed owners: German media company ProSiebenSat.1 paid 235 million euros, or nearly $270 million at the time, in October 2015. The media company said it is continuing the review process for other online travel businesses that it owns, especially Weg.de and Tropo.de.
In May, the CEO of ProSiebenSat.1 told reporters that the company was getting “broad interest” from financial and strategic investors for its online travel business.
“In recent years, Etraveli has been transformed into an international company with a clear strategy based on offering consumers cheaper airline tickets more efficiently than competitors in many corners of the world,” Mathias Hedlund, who became CEO of Etraveli in 2014, said in a statement.
The Sweden-based company has grown 40 percent a year since 2014, according to a press release, and sold airline tickets and related services to more than 5 million travelers last year. The aggregate value of last year’s transactions was equivalent to just over $2 billion. The company operates in 46 countries with about a dozen brands, including Seat24, Supersaver, and Travelstart.
The announcement said that the company, which is air-centric but also sells accommodations and other travel services, had gained “substantial market share” in markets including the UK, Germany, and France in the past few years. Under CVC’s ownership, Etraveli said it has set of goal of growing its reach and becoming the largest online travel agency in Europe.
“The online travel sector is dynamic and fast-growing, and Etraveli is a clear front-runner due to its data-driven approach and highly scalable business model,” Lorne Somerville, partner and head of technology, media, and telecom at CVC, said in a statement. “We look forward to bringing the sector and wider CVC network together with Etraveli’s excellent management team to transform the company into a truly global platform.”