HLO closes in on Magellan

One month on from the ‘Magellangate’ controversy (travelBulletin February 2018), the group’s takeover by Helloworld looks to be inevitable, with just one Magellan Travel Group (MTG) member declining an increased offer under HLO’s bid for the business. Since last month’s edition, a summit meeting saw Magellan members offered a significantly enhanced financial deal, understood to total to about two-thirds of the $32.5 million to be paid by Helloworld.

As travelBulletin went to press, Magellan confirmed that “97 out of 98 unit holders, representing 128 agency outlets, have signed a new Magellan member agreement”. There was some initial dissent following receipt of the new offer amid claims it would restrict members from being part of groups such as Virtuoso or Cruiseco, but this was quickly doused by Magellan’s directors who confirmed that the commercial terms of the HLO offer were identical to the existing MTG agreement, with the addition of guarantees and protection around override income and member fees.

It’s understood HLO has locked in the existing fees and returns to members for five years, with many Magellan members thrilled at the additional payout they will receive under the revised offer. Announcing Helloworld’s half-year results in late February, CEO Andrew Burnes confirmed that the planned acquisition of Magellan was due to be completed by the end of the month, meaning that it should be done and dusted by the time you are reading this in the March edition of travelBulletin.