Online travel agency Webjet says it is poised to catapult further into Asia after agreeing to buy Dubai-based business travel wholesaler Destinations of the World for $240 million.
Destinations of the World operates throughout the Middle East, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas, connecting hoteliers with travel agents, online travel agents, tour operators and third-party wholesalers.
The acquisition, expected to complete on November 22, follows Webjet’s acquisition of JacTravel in 2017.
Webjet managing director John Guscic said the DOTW purchase would increase global WebBeds contracts from 23,000 to 28,500, including an extra 3000 hotels in Asia.
“The acquisition of DOTW continues to consolidate WebBeds’ position as the clear number two player in the global B2B market,” Mr Guscic said.
“It is an important strategic plank for a key geographic push into Asia… mainly China, Japan and South Korea.”
Mr Guscic said Webjet started discussions with DOTW earlier this year.
“We’ve known Destinations for a long time, known them for nearly 15 years, and we’ve been in dialogue with them for a number of months,” he said.
“We’ll now be concentrating on integrating the DOTW acquisition over the next year.”
Webjet said the DOTW purchase would be funded by a fully underwritten accelerated pro rata non-renounceable entitlement offer, debt funding and an issue of new Webjet shares to continuing management shareholders and DOTW’s existing private equity shareholders, Gulf Capital.
Webjet shares were worth $12.91 having been put into a trading halt before the start of trade on Monday.