Olswang has advised dnata World Travel, sister company to dnata, on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Travel Technology Investments Limited from management shareholders led by Kane Pirie, Chris Waite and Paul Furner ("Founders").
The deal was undertaken by dnata World Travel Limited, a newly incorporated company in England owned by dnata World Travel. As part of the transaction the Founders have subscribed for a 25% stake in the purchasing vehicle.
Travel Technology Investments Limited is the holding company of Travel Republic Limited which operates leading online travel agent www.travelrepublic.co.uk. Travel Republic is the largest privately owned online travel agency in the UK. Through the use of pioneering technology, Travel Republic offers prices on a choice of hotels and flights with some 100 airlines to 650 destinations worldwide. The business provides its website in an increasing range of languages and helps over two million customers a year with their holiday plans. The company has recently launched sites in Ireland, Spain and Italy and with further expansion plans across the rest of Europe.
The new investment will allow dnata to capitalise on the increasing popularity of online travel booking which has seen dramatic growth in the past year. dnata will use the strength of its global travel network to expand on this further by offering a broader range of destinations whilst maintaining the same price competitive and high-quality customer experience. The acquisition continues dnata's international expansion and also follows the travel team's recent expansion into India.
Iain Andrew, Divisional Senior Vice President of dnata's travel business, commented, "This is the second deal we have closed in the UK over the last 12 months and it was again a real pleasure to work with David and Nick and the leisure team at Olswang. We remain impressed with their commitment, calmness under pressure, commerciality and their ability to find solutions."
Olswang Senior Associate Nick Crosbie mentions, "Both high profile and at times high octane, this deal was relatively complex and required quick and creative solutions to take into account the unique position of the Founders and the fast changing regulatory landscape in the online travel industry in the UK at present. Having worked on the sale of dealchecker.co.uk earlier this year, we are familiar with the sector and were well placed to support dnata World Travel on this transaction".
Olswang Corporate partner and Head of the firm's leisure practice, David Roberts said, "This is a great deal for dnata World Travel and follows the acquisition of Alpha Flight Group by its parent, dnata earlier this year. The online travel industry is fast moving, competitive, highly regulated and a key area of focus for the Olswang leisure team. We hope to be able to draw upon our India and Singapore teams to assist dnata World Travel with future expansion."
The Olswang team was co-led by David Roberts and up and coming Senior Associate and leisure specialist Nick Crosbie together with corporate associate Gordon Ker and trainee Claire Stringer. The Olswang team included partners and associates from across the firm including Graham Chase and Matthew Wentworth-May (tax), Catherine Taylor and Tom Molan (Employment), Kimberleigh Tucker and Sarah Sharma (Commercial) and Charles Kerrigan and Jane Innes-Jones (Finance).
dnata were also advised by BDO LLP (Peter Hemington and Jamie Austin, Corporate Finance; Andy Harris, Transaction Services and Gautam Mistry, Tax).
The Founders were advised by Squire Sanders (Tim Hewens) and Rothschilds (Stephen Moore).
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Notes to editors
Olswang LLP is one of Europe's leading law firms in the areas of technology, media, telecommunications and real estate. The firm comprises of nearly 700 people including 100 partners, across seven European offices. Olswang is part of a 'best friends' network of leading independent law firms throughout the world.
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