OTC Buys All-Hotels


Online Travel Corporation (OTC), the UK`s leading online travel wholesaler and retailer, has purchased one of the web`s leading accommodation companies All-Hotels Limited, operators of the leading Internet brand all-hotels.com, in a share deal worth up to å£1.425m.

The company`s latest deal means that OTC, which owns or provides content to over 80 travel websites, is significantly strengthening its global inventory of supplier hotels - meaning its own-brand sites and many of its customers` sites will soon significantly expand their product offering.

All-Hotels, will bring access to 60,000 worldwide hotel properties within the reach of OTC`s stable of brands and its partner websites.

The deal additionally means OTC can cross-sell its other travel products, including package holidays, flights and tailor-made holidays, to All-Hotel`s 6m annual visitors and 200,000 subscribers. Last year All-Hotels generated turnover of £11m, from over 160,000 hotel room sales.

OTC`s latest acquisition will also see the company benefiting from further proprietary technology, including All-Hotels` hotel inventory management and booking platform a-Res, and all-hotels.com`s reservations system.

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Mark Jones, CEO of OTC, commented: “All-Hotels is one of the most impressive forces in the online travel market. The company brings OTC significantly increased hotel content, technology and expertise, coupled with a major hotel brand to our portfolio of travel websites.

“The acquisition also means we`ve strengthened our position as the best placed company to handle the requirements of anyone wishing to sell travel online.”

Jane Karwoski, All-Hotel`s chief executive, added: “The acquisition of All-Hotels by OTC is an excellent fit for both companies.  All-Hotels not only enhances OTC`s current online accommodation offering but extends OTC`s international customer base.

“We are further pleased that the all-hotels.com brand will be maintained and that our existing team of employees will continue to operate from their Scottish base.”

OTC`s latest acquisition follows hard on the heels of its purchase of leading business travel force Travelstore.com in June, and its expansion in the Asia Pacific region in August through the acquisition of leading travel retailer Sydney Travel Centre.

The arrival of all-hotels.com means a further significant boost to OTC`s portfolio of 12 own-brand sites, which the company has mainly developed through acquisition.

These include Bargainholidays, A2btravel, Ferrybooker, 1ski and other sites purchased from EMAP Digital Travel in June 2001; ifyouski, ifyougolf and other sites added through the acquisition of ifyoutravel in November 2001, and the recent arrival of Travelstore.com.

OTC has also recently unveiled a new brand Onlinetravel.com, which the company says will help it capitalise on the boom in tailor-making holidays on the web - a marketing breakthrough created by OTC itself with its launch last October of `Build Your Own` technology - a move since copied by other e-travel players.

The All-Hotels deal will be satisfied by the issue of up to 5,090,914 new OTC ordinary shares at 28p per share, coupled with an earn-out payment equal to 20% of All-Hotel`s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation over the next two years. All-Hotels will continue to operate from its base in Edinburgh in Scotland.

In addition to the acquisition, OTC has raised a further £2m in a placing with existing shareholders.  The monies will be used to further develop and grow OTC`s business and portfolio of online brands, and assure its regulatory requirements are maintained.

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