“Etraveli has in recent years significantly expanded its footprint and showed good profitable growth. During this period Segulah has proven a very supportive owner, and has been instrumental in the growth and development of the company.” Mathias Hedlund, CEO of Etraveli.
Etraveli is one of the leading e-commerce group for online travel in Europe, providing a wide range of airline tickets, hotel accommodation and other travel related services. The company was founded in 2007 through the merger between Seat24 Travel and SRG Online.
Opportunity. The investment rationale was threefold: i) to develop the existing business, which mainly was focused on the sale of airline tickets, but also other travel related products such as hotels, rental cars and insurance products; ii) to initiate new business initiatives such as business travel offerings and packaged holidays; and iii) to continue the consolidation of the Nordic market and grow the business outside the Nordics.
What did Segulah provide? Most of the above initiatives were accomplished during Segulah’s ownership. Overall the business developed above plan despite a more challenging market. Volume growth was healthy in a maturing Nordic market, the sale of other travel related products increased in absolute terms and operationally the business grew much stronger. In particular, the company at the time of Segulah’s exit had consolidated the Nordic market, expanded internationally and significantly better risk management procedures, which resulted in lower costs.
In October 2010, Etraveli acquired its main competitor TravelPartner through a public offer. TravelPartner was fully integrated into Etraveli and synergies extracted ahead of plan. The combination of Etraveli and TravelPartner created the largest Nordic Online Travel Agent (“OTA”).
In September 2013, Etraveli completed a refinancing through the bond market. The proceeds from the bond issue were used to repay external debt and for distribution to shareholders.
In January 2014, Etraveli acquired Flygresor.se, Sweden’s largest price comparison site for air tickets.
In the beginning of March 2014, Ralph Axelson, founder of Etraveli, stepped down as CEO and joined the board of directors. The changes were made as part of a strategy to internationalize the company further. Mathias Hedlund, with strong experience from digital businesses and previously board member of Etraveli, became new CEO.
In September 2014, the board agreed on a revised strategic plan until 2017. Since 2014, management has implemented the strategic plan, which has entailed Etraveli i.a. to continue to expand its business aggressively outside the Nordics.
In October 2015, Etraveli established the price comparison site uberflieger.de in the German market in a media for equity deal with ProSieben.
The result. In October 2015, Etraveli was divested to ProSieben Travel GmbH, an indirect 100% subsidiary of ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, one of the largest independent media corporations in Europe with a strong and growing position in media and e-commerce. The overall valuation amounted to SEK 2.2 billion, or EUR 235 million.
During the five years under Segulah ownership, the company grew significantly and expanded its geographical footprint, with gross sales, net revenues and EBITDA having more than doubled since the acquisition. By year-end 2015, Etraveli operated in 46 countries and transacted air tickets and related services for SEK 12 billion.
|Oglaend Industries||Segulah IV||2014||2017|
|Byggfakta Scandinavia||AB Segulah||Information services||1996||1998|
|EKH Ekonomihuset||Segulah I||Pension trusts||1997||1999|
|Wilkenson Handskmakar´n||AB Segulah||Retail||1994||1997|
|Teli Service||Segulah I||Repair & logistic services||1997||2002|
|Modul-System||Segulah I||Vehicle interior fittings||1999||2002|
|EEN||Segulah I||Music & entertainment||1999||2004|
|CCS, Clean Chemical||Segulah II||Skin- and eye care||2003||2004|
|NVS Installation||Segulah II||HVAC installation||2002||2006|
|HMS Industrial Networks||Segulah II||Communication technology||2004||2007|
|Previa||Segulah II||Occupational health||2004||2007|
|Kosan Crisplant||Segulah II||LPG supplies||2004||2008|
|Callenberg Group||Segulah II||Marine electronics||2001||2008|
|Isaberg Rapid||Segulah III||Office supplies||2007||2009|
|NEA-gruppen||Segulah III||Electrical installation||2006||2010|
|Exotic Snacks||Segulah III||Food||2008||2011|
|Skandinavisk Kommunalteknik||Segulah III||Sewage systems||2008||2011|
|InfoCare||Segulah II||Electrical repair||2004||2012|
|PMC Group||Segulah III||Hydraulics||2005||2015|
|S:t Eriks||Segulah III||Building products||2005||2015|
|Scan Coin||Segulah IV||Cash handling||2010||2015|