The Lowcost Travel Group‘s acquisition spree has come to a temporary halt after its take-over talks with online cruise travel agent Ideal Cruising broke down over valuation differences. However the group hinted that it will continue eying up other businesses across the travel setor.
Lowcostbeds.com chief executive Paul Evans said he still believed Ideal Cruising was a sound business with an excellent management team but feared that the current climate dictated a lower valuation.The take-over had originally been due for completion at the end of last year.
Ideal Cruising chairman Ian Brooks said: “We are disappointed not to have concluded this deal, especially as we had built up a good rapport with the team at Lowcost. However we understand their reasons for not going through with it, and ultimately we have a good business which we were not willing to sell below a premium price.”
“We have had a good start to the year and look forward to continuing to grow the business in what remains a healthy sector.”
However Lowcost director Lawrence Hunt admitted that despite the set-back the group had further acquisitions in mind, in particular ski, longhaul and city-break operators. The former Silverjet director also said the group was still interested in the cruise sector.
He said: “We are not big in cruise but we want to get into it. Ideal Cruising would have been a very good fit. But because of the way the deal was structured it meant the deal was becoming too expensive for us.”
In January lowcostbeds.com bought transfer company Resorthoppa.com.