Lastminute.com parent company Travelocity Global is to sell car-hire broker Holiday Autos to CarTrawler.
The deal will see ECI-backed CarTrawler acquire the brand, rights and assets of Holiday Autos’ direct business. The trade business and operations of Holiday Autos are not included in the deal, and lastminute has announced that it is assessing options, with an exit from trade sales a possibility.
Mike McGearty, chief executive of CarTrawler said: “The acquisition of these online assets will drive CarTrawler’s growth through diversification and increased scale and will deepen our geographic footprint. It will complement the existing aviation, travel, hospitality, leisure and consumer channels currently active across our platform.
“Our strategy is to realise the strong economic potential of the Holiday Autos assets through the platform, thereby creating enhanced value for CarTrawler, our partners, suppliers and customers”.
Matthew Crummack, president of Travelocity Europe, commented: “For the last ten years the Holiday Autos brand has been integral to Travelocity Global, and it has been our privilege to support the team to grow the business to become one of Europe’s most recognised, respected and leading car hire online aggregators
“The time is now right for its further success to be developed by CarTrawler. Their compelling vision and investment plans for the Holiday Autos brand make it the best custodian for the brand’s future growth.”
Holiday Autos was founded by Travel Weekly Group owner Clive Jacobs in 1987, claiming a first by introducing pre-paid fully-inclusive car hire packages.
It was sold for £43 million in 2003 to lastminute.com, which was subsequently acquired by Sabre Holdings in 2005, becoming part of Travelocity Global.
Dublin-based CarTrawler has mapped out aggressive global expansion plans following investment from ECI Partners in 2011. The private equity firm took a 50% stake in the company in a deal valued at up to £44 million.