Flight Centre takes full ownership of Ignite Travel Group

Flight Centre takes full ownership of Ignite Travel Group

Gold Coast based Ignite Travel Group is now wholly owned by travel giant Flight Centre (ASX: FLT) after the latter acquired the remaining 51 per cent of the business.

Flight Centre previously held 49 per cent of Ignite, with the parties agreeing to bring forward the full purchase of Ignite's Australian and New Zealand business to capitalise on Ignite's 'readymade' holiday package model.

Flight Centre says the acquisition will allow full deployment and integration of Ignite's product suite through its network to include Ignite's My Holiday Centre brands such as MyFiji, MyHawaii and MyCruises.

Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner says Ignite's readymade package model is one that is growing rapidly in Australia.

"Ignite has been hugely successful, growing sales more than 40 per cent per annum for the past two years, and we are excited by its future potential in Australia and overseas,' says Turner.

"Full ownership of the business will allow for streamlines integration of Ignite's innovative products and will deliver new offerings and choices to our customers."

Flight Centre intends to push Ignite's brands internationally. The founder and managing director of Ignite Randall Deer (pictured) will work with Flight Centre in a 50-50 joint venture partnership to develop the company's business model in international markets.

Deer was named Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year two years in a row in 2012 and 2013.

Ignite will continue to operate within Flight Centre's 'emerging brands' division but will remain a separate entity on the Gold Coast under the leadership of Ryan Thomas.

Deer says the complete acquisition of Ignite by Flight Centre will allow the business to unlock the broader potential of the Gold Coast business.

"Expanding our presence through the Flight Centre network will not only benefit our travel partners, but will also help attract a new customer segment to Flight Centre and to bring this new product range to other markets internationally," says Deer.

"Additionally, I'm particularly happy that Ignite will remain a separate operating entity, allowing for its unique culture of innovation in the industry to continue as well as keeping its independent relationships with partners and suppliers, which is important for its ongoing success."

Ingite turned over more than $180 million during FY19 across its three distinct business models.

Under Ignite's My Holiday Centre division, the company has 14 recognised B2C retail brands such as MyFiji, MyHawaii, MyQueenslandHoliday and MyCruises.

It's Holiday Exclusive division provides third-party partners including 7Travel, flybuys, and Flight Centre Exclusives.

RewardCorp, Ignite's founding division, provides patented sales and loyalty programs to corporate clients.

The terms of the acquisition are currently confidential, and Flight Centre will use its existing debt facilities to fund the deal.

Shares in Flight Centre are up by 1.60 per cent to $47.52 per share at 10.25am AEST. 

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