Amadeus-backed Travelstart acquires 100% of South Africa’s Club Travel Group

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Cape Town-based Travelstart is set to wholly acquire Club Travel Group in a move expected to boost its offering by adding Club Travel’s established complementary corporate and franchise divisions, creating a formidable full-service African travel group.

The closing of the deal is subject to the approval of the Competition Commission.

According to Travelstart’s CEO Stephan Ekbergh, “We love Club Travel because like us they have a long history in discount travel. Travelstart is strong in the consumer segment and we want to bring consumerization to the corporate and government sectors, where Club Travel is an emerging star.”

The deal to acquire Club Travel will help Travelstart continue its growth trajectory in Africa in corporate and leisure travel with Club Travel’s over 400 branded and non-branded franchises and a corporate travel division. With the acquisition, Travelstart will increase its market share in Africa’s travel and tourism market which is worth an estimated $194 billion with a daily increase in digital uptake.

“Travelstart shares a common mission which is to make travel easier for customers. Our team is excited to partner with them to build an amazing long-term business over the next decade,” said Wally Gaynor, Club Travel’s Managing Director and founder who will retain a board seat.

Club Travel will continue as a standalone company within the Travelstart portfolio. Thebe Tourism Holdings (Thebe), the majority shareholder of the Club Travel Group since 2009, will sell its stake in the Club Travel Group to Travelstart. Thebe and Travelstart will jointly invest in and own Club Travel Corporate, a level one B-BBEE rated division of Club Travel Group.

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“The deal is a response to the changes in travel in Southern Africa as consumer and corporate travel markets increasingly favour technology-driven solutions. We are excited to partner up with the team from Travelstart,” said Jerry Mabena, CEO at Thebe Tourism.