Travelstart’s acquisition of Club Travel Group approved by South African regulator

Travelstart’s acquisition of Club Travel Group approved by South African regulator

Brand to continue as standalone company

Travelstart has completed its acquisition of Club Travel Group following regulatory approval.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, sees Travelstart wholly acquire the Club Travel Group and its subsidiaries.

The deal was first announced in June 2019 subject to the approval of South Africa’s Competition Commission which has now been formally granted.

Travelstart said the deal will expand its 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.

Travelstart chief executive Stephan Ekbergh said: “We are thrilled to officially welcome Club Travel as the newest member of the Travelstart family. Together we will continue to concentrate on building the best place for people to plan, book and manage travel.”

Club Travel managing director and founder Wally Gaynor added: “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.”

Travelstart said Africa’s travel and tourism industry is worth an estimated $194 billion and digitisation among consumers is still growing.

It added the deal will enable the brands to expand their business and reach new customers, and gain the expertise needed to deliver digital product innovation and remain competitive.