Travelzest operators stop taking future bookings as sale talks continue

Operators owned by online travel and tour operator group Travelzest have stopped taking future bookings in the UK.

The development comes after a drawn-out decline of the company in the UK where it has run a number of specialist operators including Captivating Cuba, The Best of Morocco, The Malaysia Experience and VFB Holidays.

A spokeswoman confirmed the operators were no longer taking bokings but that discussions were ongoing about the sale of the firm’s UK assets.

The parent of Canadian online retailer iTravel2000 also owns the and urls which, according the Travelzest website, have been under redevelopment for some time as part of the firm’s new strategy.

This strategy has been to consolidate its loss-making UK operations while looking for a buyer. The company has said 90% its revenues were derived from it Canada operations, also including Cruise Professionals.

In December 2011 the UK assets were linked to a potential buy out by Red Label Vacations of Canada.

However, talks collapsed after Red Label failed to meet valuation expectations and in May this year chief executive Jonathan Carroll and chief financial officer Adrian Cobbold lodged a preliminary expression of interest in acquiring the company.

At that time Travolution reported that independent directors Nigel Jenkins, Mark Molyneux and Richard Hall had decided to conduct a formal sale process “in order to explore this and any further potential expressions of interest”.

A company statement said: “While the independent directors believe that the company has a future as an independent business, it recognises that there may be other individuals and businesses which are better placed to build on its strong Canadian trading businesses.”

The statement added the sale process has been started “in order to seek to unlock and crystallise shareholder value, through which the company might also be able to offer more opportunities for its employees and other stakeholders.”

An answer phone message for Travelzest’s brands including French self-catering operator VFB Holidays, Best of Morocco and Capitvating Cuba is informing customers that it is dealing with existing bookings only and not taking any future bookings.

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