Opodo has today announced the acquisition of the French tour operating company Karavel for €60 million in cash.Karavel is the owner of Promovacances, a leading online travel company in France, whose core expertise is in the pre-packaged holiday market. Promovacances is a well-known and respected brand, established in the French market in 1997, offering great value to travellers to a wide range of destinations and product types.
Opodo has built a strong position in the European online travel market, originally focusing on flight sales, with expansion into hotels and other travel products, and attracting over 9 million unique visitors across its sites every month.
As two well-established brands, Opodo and Promovacances will be complimentary to each other, each with a different target customer and market positioning, but working together to build on their core strengths. The wider opportunities to use the Promovacances content across the Opodo portfolio will also be explored.
“As a leader in the European online travel market, Opodo is particularly strong in flight sales. Today’s acquisition of Karavel, with its excellent pre-packaged content, will complement Opodo’s existing portfolio of products and strengthen our presence in the key French market.” said Simon Vincent, CEO of Opodo.
Petra Friedmann, Country Manager for France continued, “Pre-packaged holidays are a key component of Opodo’s online offering, with sales having increased by 150% over the last 6 months in France alone. By uniting our two strong brands, we expect to increase buying power and broaden our consumer appeal, thereby accelerating Opodo.fr towards our target of becoming a leader in the French online travel market.”
Alain de Mendonca, CEO and co-founder of Karavel commented, “We are proud of what we have achieved since 2001, establishing Promovacances as one of the leading brands on the French travel market. Integrating with the Opodo group is a unique opportunity to accelerate growth and develop further our brands.”
Karavel will continue to be run as a stand-alone business, headed by Alain de Mendonca and with the current management team remaining. Simon Vincent, CEO of Opodo will be appointed Chairman of Karavel. “
Karavel is the next step in Opodo’s acquisition strategy, following its purchase of Quest Travel, a UK specialist high street agency, on 14th January 2005.