THE price hasn’t been disclosed, but the sale of a 55% stake in TripADeal to private equity group BGH last month was not a cut-price deal despite the ravages of COVID-19, according to TripADeal founders Norm Black and Richard Johnston. Rather it was an opportunistic acquisition which will help position the OTA disruptor for the expected huge post-pandemic travel boom, with Black saying “we think as soon as borders reopen, the next big logistical challenge for the travel industry will be coping with the demand”.
Negotiations on the deal started in August 2019, and Black noted that before the pandemic hit TripADeal had 60,000 bookings and was heading for a 40% increase in annual TTV to more than $200 million.
“Over the past two years several firms have knocked on our door,” he said. “BGH approached us late last year, and we knew they were the ideal fit. Working with them through COVID has only reinforced the common culture and respect we have always looked for but never found in the past.”
BGH Founding Partner Ben Gray said the TripADeal online business model allowed for enormous growth opportunities while avoiding the cost structures of traditional bricks-and-mortar operations. “The company has a very scalable business model that is supported by a well-developed technology platform…we are excited to partner with Rich and Norm on TripADeal’s next wave of growth,” he said.