Helloworld Travel (ASX: HLO) has acquired a controlling stake in Perth-based Asia Escape Holidays (AEH) for $2.88 million, in a move to boost competitiveness in the travel package deal and impulse buyer markets.
The Sydney-based travel agent now owns 60 per cent of Keygate Holdings, the parent company of AEH, and maintains the option to increase its stake to full ownership in four years' time.
AEH is an outbound travel wholesaler across 16 destinations throughout Asia, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific.
Andrew Burnes, CEO and managing director of Helloworld, says the acquisition complements the company's existing wholesale range and makes it more attractive to impulse buyers.
"AEH is an excellent strategic fit to Helloworld Travel's existing wholesale businesses and provides the group with a trade focused brand that has the expertise and speed to market to compete in the growing package and impulse buying market for travel throughout the Asia Pacific region," he says.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the month and AEH managing director Mason Adams says the buyout marks a key opportunity for growth.
"This investment is a significant milestone for Asia Escapes and being a part of the Helloworld Travel Group will provide the business with fantastic opportunities to continue to build our business."
Helloworld currently owns and operates a range of travel wholesale brands in Australia, New Zealand and the US. It has over 2,000 staff located in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the USA, Asia, india and the UK/Europe.
HLO shares are trading flat at $4.55 at the time of writing (11:37am AEST).
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