FLIGHT CENTRE TAKES SMALL STEP INTO ARGENTINIAN MARKET

FLIGHT CENTRE TAKES SMALL STEP INTO ARGENTINIAN MARKET

TRAVEL company, Flight Centre (ASX: FLT), has acquired a 24.1 per cent stake in Argentina's second largest travel group, Bibam, for AU$9.3m.

Flight Centre's announcement signals the Company's entry into the Argentinian market and represents a low risk entry into the South American market as it plans for further growth across multiple sectors in the region.

Flight Centre's US President, Dean Smith, says a key factor behind the company's investment in Bibam is acquiring access to its technological capabilities.

"We are thrilled to partner with such strong operators in this dynamic market, which is also an emerging IT hub," says Smith.

"As FLT's digital transformation gains momentum, we are excited to partner with CEO Cristan Adamo and his team to further improve our e-commerce and mobile services through access to great talent and software."

Buenos Aires-based Bibam operates the Biblos brand as well as the growing e-commerce company Avantrip.com.

Bibam is also the licensee in Argentina for FCM, the global corporate travel management network that Flight Centre created in 2005.

Bibam generates total transaction value of US$240 million annually.

This is not Flight Centre's first foray and expansion into tech; in 2016 the group purchased two specialist online businesses: Boston-based Student Universe, and BYOjet.com.

Flight Centre expects its online leisure business to generate $1 billion globally in 2017.

Business News Australia

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