ebookers Announces Acquisition of Travelbag Holdings

21st Jan 2003

ebookers plc, a leading European online travel
agency today announces an agreement to acquire Travelbag Holdings, one of the
leading UK travel agencies, with annualized sales of 200m pounds and three
established brands, Travelbag, Bridge the World, and Travelbag Adventures.

specialises in trips to Australia and New Zealand, and in adventure travel. The average transaction value is £1,450, almost three times that of ebookers
, which is £565.

Rationale for the transaction

    * Gives combined group gross sales of approximately 500m pounds.
    ebookers` aim is to reach 1bn pounds sales within 2 years through
    organic and acquisition growth.

    * Brings a profitable and high margin business into the ebookers group.


    * Offers excellent product synergies.
    ebookers is strong on travel to the USA.
    Travelbag Holdings is strong on Australia/New Zealand and adventure.

    * Major scope to increase internet sales of Travelbag brands.
    ebookers has acquired 10 “bricks and mortar” businesses before and
    moved them to Internet growth rates using ebookers` internet technology
    and marketing expertise.

    * Expectation of significant operating and buying synergies.
    Head offices and UK back offices will be merged.
    Brands will retain separate sales and marketing.

    * Functions will be transferred to ebookers` low cost Business Process
    Outsourcing facility in India, as was the case in 2002 following the
    integration of Flightbookers.

Dinesh Dhamija
CEO ebookers plc comments:
  “Travelbag, Bridge the World and Travelbag Adventures are successful,
profitable travel businesses, whose management I have always viewed with
respect over the years.  By combining our organizations, we expect to increase
buying power and broaden our product offering, accelerating ebookers towards
our target of 1bn pounds sales within two years.  By using our expertise to
grow online sales in the Travelbag brands, and to reduce costs through
integration and the transfer of functions to India, we expect to create
significant value for shareholders.”
Peter Liney, Managing Director, Travelbag Holdings comments:
  “We are very excited at the prospect of joining the ebookers group.  I
believe that this transaction represents a fantastic opportunity for Travelbag
Holdings and that there is major scope to rapidly increase the sales of the
Travelbag brands using ebookers` Internet technology and expertise.”

Related stories on ITN:

(12/12/2002) ebookers Chosen as an Official Travel Agent for 2003 Rugby World Cup

(18/11/2002) Lycos UK Forges Partnership With Ebookers.com

(08/11/2002) KLM E-Sales Director Joins ebookers




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