Thursday, June 20, 2024

Litoralulromanesc.ro travel agency was bought by Szallas Group, part of the Polish group Wirtualna Polska Holding – Business Review

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The Litoralulromanesc.ro travel agency was bought by Szallas Group, part of the Polish group Wirtualna Polska Holding, from Ionuț Nedea for over 21 million euros, representing the biggest transaction in the Romanian tourism market. The transaction will create the conditions for the development of a major player in the regional tourism context, by strengthening the relationship with commercial partners, increasing and diversifying the value-added services offered to customers. The entire team, including the founder Ionuț Nedea, will continue their work within the company, which will continue to operate the Litoralulromanesc.ro brand – a benchmark in the Romanian tourism market.

 

Litoralulromanesc.ro travel agency, owned by the company Creative Eye SRL from Constanța, was founded by Ionuț Nedea. With almost 20 years of experience in the local tourism market, the company is the largest holiday retailer in the Black Sea resorts, both in terms of number of tourists and turnover. The company has a portfolio of over 500 accommodation facilities where in 2023 customers made bookings of a total value exceeding EUR 45 million.

Szallas Group owns online accommodation booking portals in Poland (Nocowanie.pl), Hungary (Szallas.hu), Czech Republic (Hotel.cz) and Croatia. The company is present also in Romania since 2020, when it took over the booking site Travelminit.ro, which offers more than 8.000 accommodation units throughout the country having generated EUR 30 million worth of reservations in 2023.

Szallas Group joined Wirtualna Polska Holding in 2022. Wirtualna Polska Holding (WP) is a technology-based group of companies listed on Warsaw Stock Exchange with operations in media, advertising and e-commerce, present in Poland and in Central and Eastern European countries.

“The transaction is very important for the local tourism market, opening the way to a consolidation of domestic tourism in a global context, consolidation necessary to become more efficient and to face the challenges. We have to start competing with foreign markets and in order to do that we need the domestic market to coagulate and become one of the biggest players in the region. From an operational point of view, nothing changes for the customers of Litoralulromânesc.ro considering that the team and the brand that ensured our success remain the same. On another note, I believe that the seriousness and tenacity with which we have developed the company over the last almost 20 years through sustainable growth, based on a long-term vision, have consolidated us in the leading position in the Black Sea holidays niche and attracted the attention of one of the main players in online tourism in the region”, says Ionuț Nedea, CEO of Litoralulromanesc.ro.

The transaction will be carried out in two stages, to be completed in April 2025, when Litoralulromanesc.ro celebrates 20 years of activity. The first stage of the transaction, which will be completed once the conditions precedent have been met, in particular once the approval of the Romanian anti-monopoly authority is obtained, involves the Szallas Group taking over 80% of the Romanian company, the value of this first transaction being 16.8 million euros. The remaining 20% ​​of the company will be taken over by Szallas in 2025, following the approval of the 2024 financial statements, based on a price mechanism established by the sale and purchase agreement. The implied value of the Creative Eye SRL is currently over 21 million euros.

“Szallas Group has been operating in Romania since 2020, when it acquired booking portal Travelminit. The acquisition of  Litoralulromanesc.ro is a milestone in our development in this country. It is a combination of two businesses that operate in tourism but have different yet complementary characteristics. Travelminit focuses on short weekend trips to smaller inland accommodations, while Litoralulromanesc.ro is the country’s leader in vacation getaways Romanian seaside resorts. Together, we will be able to offer our customers a comprehensive travel offer”, says Ferenc Rigó, CEO of Szallas Group.

By taking over Litoralulromanesc.ro, Wirtualna Polska Group continues its expansion in the tourism industry in Central and Eastern Europe.

“Szallas Group joined WP Group at the end of 2022. Since then, we have consistently pursued a strategy of building a local champion in the domestic travel bookings in Central and Eastern Europe. I am very pleased that Szallas Group’s first acquisition, following its takeover by WP Group, is in Romania, a country where we believe the growth of travel services will be fastest. We believe that, like the Romanian economy as a whole, the travel market will also soon record very dynamic growth, catching up with comparable countries”, says Aleksander Kusz, VP E-commerce at Wirtualna Polska Holding S.A.

The founder of Litoralulromanesc.ro only sells the Litoralulromanesc.ro travel agency. The rest of the assets under the umbrella of the Creative Eye SRL company – the Opal Hotel in Jupiter and the Amelie brand (apartments) in Mamaia – will be subject of a carve-out process, to be taken over by a new company owned by Ionuț Nedea.

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