THL parts ways with Camplify through $19.2m divestment

THL parts ways with Camplify through $19.2m divestment

Photo: Camplify, via Facebook.

After securing significant shareholdings in peer-to-peer recreational vehicle (RV) marketplace Camplify (ASX: CHL) in 2022 via asset sales and a merger with Apollo Tourism & Leisure (ATL), New Zealand's Tourism Holdings (NZX: THL) has pulled the plug on its investment in the Newcastle-based company.

THL sold its 14.14 per cent stake in Camplify for $19 million following a review of its position, representing a significant loss on the shares obtained through its scrip-based sale of two businesses to the Australian group.

"Just over a year on from the merger with Apollo Tourism & Leisure we have reviewed our position on our Camplify shareholding and have decided to divest, given our focus on return on funds employed at THL and the fact that the shareholding is not currently delivering a return on funds," says THL chief executive officer Grant Webster.

"We continue to believe the peer-to-peer RV rental industry is a valuable one and we remain open to re-entering the industry at some point in the future."

In October 2021 Camplify reached a deal to buy peer-to-peer motorhome and campervan rental platforms Mighway and SHAREaCAMPER (SaC) for $7.37 million worth of CHL shares, which at the time were worth $3.34 each, to be paid in two tranches 18 months apart.

The divestment announced today was at $1.90 per CHL share, which implies a 43 per cent loss - or $4.19 million - on its first foray into Camplify shareholdings.

The estimated loss on the almost 7 million shares obtained through the Apollo merger would be around $350,000, based on the trading price of CHL securities of $1.95 when the merger was completed in December 2022.

In its interim half-yearly results reported last month, Camplify highlighted a 93.6 per cent growth rate in gross transaction volume (GTV) to $89.3 million, closing the 2023 calendar year with $26 million in future bookings.

Camplify has also been busy integrating the acquisition of German company PaulCamper which was finally completed in December 2023, and in mid-January it completed the acquisition of Australian company Rent a Tent for $800,000.

The owner fleet across Camplify's platform grew 19.7 per cent year-on-year in the December half to reach 29,388 RVs, with growth in all Camplify markets including 100 per cent growth in New Zealand.

Despite these positive numbers, Camplify still reported a statutory loss after tax of $3 million and an EBITDA loss of $1.4 million - this compares to an EBITDA loss of $1.8 million in the prior corresponding period.

Camplify's CEO, founder and former Australian Young Entrepreneur Award - Hospitality & Tourism winner purchased more than $20,000 worth of shares last month, and he currently holds around 5.6 million shares worth $10.9 million at the current CHL trading price. 

"This financial year is about meeting customer demand and continuing to build the business on the back of continual increasing interest in the sector, while looking to standardise the business across the regions," Hales said in the interim results report.

"By achieving a centralised approach to systems, processes, procedures, and people, CHL will be able to maintain a focus on our path to profitability and consistent cash flow positivity as a key strategy objective.

"Development and improvement of technology and automation is a key focus for CHL this financial year to enable CHL to scale and grow the business through efficiencies."

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