Livingstone’s Consumer sector team has advised the management of London-based JacTravel Group, the technology-driven B2B hotel accommodation wholesaler and provider of inbound travel services, on a buy-out from Bowmark Capital, backed by Vitruvian Partners. The transaction was valued at c. £80m.
JacTravel is a UK-based leader in the high growth wholesale accommodation sector, where it partners with over 12,500 independent and chain hotels in 800 cities globally and processes nearly 1 million bookings per year. JacTravel operates from 10 offices worldwide and employs 220 staff providing services to over 1,000 active customers.
Since mid-market private equity firm Bowmark acquired the business in August 2007, JacTravel has significantly expanded its global coverage, establishing extensive customer and supplier relationships in the emerging travel markets of Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. Sales and profits have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 16 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.
With the support of Vitruvian, the management team will accelerate its investment in technology and continue pursuing growth in new markets.
Terry Williamson, Chief Executive of JacTravel, commented: “With Bowmark’s support, JacTravel has achieved fantastic growth over the last seven years. Having established the company as a global player, we are now excited to be partnering with Vitruvian to continue the international expansion programme, where further investment will enable us to deliver a number of our key strategic goals in providing market leading technology driven solutions for our international hotel partners and our global customer base.”
He added: “Having worked with the Livingstone team on a previous transaction, I knew from experience that their expertise, hands-on support and excellent knowledge of the broader Travel sector would help the management team with our discussions with a new private equity partner who would support us in the next phase of the company’s development. They didn’t disappoint.”
Simon Cope-Thompson, Partner at Livingstone said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work once again with Terry and to have been able to help him and the rest of the management team on this exciting deal. We are confident that JAC will continue to achieve exceptional international growth in the future.”
Ben Johnson, a Partner at Vitruvian, said: “Vitruvian invests in fast growing businesses led by outstanding entrepreneurs. Terry and his team have achieved excellent growth at JacTravel and we are excited about working with them going forward. There is a significant opportunity for the business to continue to grow internationally and serve the large and growing global travel market which has a clear need for the technology and services that JacTravel provides.”
This is the second Travel deal completed by Livingstone’s Consumer sector team in a month, having advised the management team of CityJet on the sale of the business to Intro Aviation in May.