Big Red Group has acquired tourism platforms Experience Oz and Local Agent from holding company TicketMates Australia in a multi-million deal that will see all brands transition to the group, with the exception of one.
Founded by Naomi Simson and David Anderson in 2017, the Sydney-based group's move is in line with its acquisitive nature and focus on the tourism sector, with the companies joining the likes of Adrenaline, Lime&Tonic and RedBalloon in the Big Red Group portfolio.
When asked about the fresh purchase, Anderson told Business News Australia that the anticipation of restrictions easing made the company an attractive buy.
“We remain frustrated about the lack of transparency as to when interstate travel will return and we're also concerned about the potential vacuum with Australians going overseas without clarity about when international travellers will be able to freely return.”
“So, with those risks to one side, we are a big believer in the return of inbound and domestic tourism, and we think the timing is right for us to acquire with that return into the New Year expected.”
While Experience Oz services domestic holidaymakers, its business-to-business platform Local Agent serves more than 700 hotels, providing access to thousands of experiences across Australia. Anderson was unable to disclose the purchase price but did say the acquired assets were generating $50 million in total transaction value pre-COVID on a run-rate basis.
For him, the acquisition serves as a great opportunity to add more versatility to Big Red's portfolio.
“It’s a brand that’s focused much more on domestic tourism and inbound tourism, which is a slightly different brand position from the rest of our house brands,” said Anderson.
“And it’s a very adjacent offer, which still leverages the same supply base.”
Alongside this, auto-club business Club Connect has entered into a 10-year wholesale arrangement with Big Red Group that will enable its suppliers to be progressively introduced to the portal, giving them access to the club's 11 million members.
TicketMates Australia managing director Ben Manns will become a shareholder in Big Red Group and has immediately joined the senior leadership team as supply and distribution director.
“We want to build much deeper relationships with our suppliers, and now have a tremendously compelling value proposition to partner with us,” said Manns.
“Ultimately, this enables us to deliver much better outcomes for consumers and our industry partners.”
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