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Web Reservations International (WRI) agrees acquisition of HostelBookers
Web Reservations International (“WRI”), owners of the Hostelworld.com and Hostels.com brands, has agreed the acquisition of HostelBookers.com (“HostelBookers”).
The all-paper deal will require regulatory clearance before it can complete.
Commenting on the deal, WRI’s Chief Executive, Feargal Mooney said:
‘We are delighted to have agreed the purchase of HostelBookers with its owners. We have long admired the business, and can see real opportunities for our customers and property owners in this combination.
‘WRI’s mission is to be the fastest-growing online provider of great value accommodation, using innovative technology to inspire independent-minded travellers everywhere.
‘The accommodation services sector is fiercely competitive. Indeed, the pace of change is such that the market today is unrecognisable from that which prevailed just 18 months ago.
‘To compete head-to-head with the “big beasts”, like Expedia and Booking.com, we need to invest. The capacity to inject more resources into online marketing and technology is absolutely key to this sector, and our increase in scale will enable us to ramp that activity up in the face of some very large and dominant competitors.
‘We want to provide a service that both competes head to-head with the large online travel agents, and retains the personal service and sector knowledge that comes from being a smaller, budget-focused player – meeting the needs of hostels, B&Bs and smaller hotels, and providing enhanced service to our customers and partners.’
About Web Reservations International
Web Reservations International (WRI) provides technology, distribution and marketing solutions to accommodation and other travel suppliers worldwide through a network of owned sites and affiliate partners. WRI delivers online reservations to over 35,000 properties in 180 countries from hostels to budget hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses, campsites and apartments. WRI has developed award winning websites including hostelworld.com, hostels.com and bedandbreakfastworld.com, and has successful affiliate relationships with many of the world’s leading brands. Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, WRI was founded in 1999 and has representative offices in Shanghai, Sydney and São Paulo. The company has approximately 140 employees.
In November 2009, WRI was acquired by affiliates of private equity investment firm Hellman and Friedman LLC. Their investment experience in the digital media and software sector gives them great insight into the evolution of online businesses and provides invaluable support to accelerate WRI’s ambitious agenda of growth and further innovation.
Founded in San Francisco in 1984, Hellman & Friedman has raised and, through its affiliated funds, managed over $25 billion of committed capital and invested in over 70 companies across three principal offices in London, New York and San Francisco. H&F focuses on investing in superior business franchises and serving as a value added partner to management in select industries including internet & digital media, software, business & marketing services, financial services, insurance, media, healthcare and energy & industrials. For more information, please visit www.hf.com
Hostelworld.com is one of the world’s leading budget accommodation services websites, covering hostels, B&Bs and smaller hotels. The flagship brand of parent company Web Reservations International (WRI), the site was launched in 1999. Prior to 1999 no technology solution existed which enabled customers to make, and hostels to take secure confirmed payments via the internet. The company is a leading provider of online services for the budget, independent and youth travel market.
Initially focusing its business on independent youth hostels, the site now features B&B’s, budget hotels, self-catering accommodation and campsites. The site is available in 19 languages and offers multi currency billing.
Hostelworld.com operates an affiliate program and has successful relationships with over 3,800 distribution partners, including many of the world’s leading brands such as Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor, Trivago, Hipmunk and Busabout, among many others.
Hostelworld.com has a record of customer-focused innovation, being first to market with a number of innovations. As early as 2007, Hostelworld.com recognised that mobile is an increasingly important channel for global travellers and began building award winning mobile platforms. Hostelworld.com mobile solutions are now available for all major mobile products in the marketplace, with a key focus on streamlining the booking process so it’s as simple, fast and easy-to-use as possible.
Hostels.com is the ultimate resource for great value accommodation all over the world. Hostels.com also offers in-depth advice to budget and independent travellers, including city guides, videos & podcasts, travel features, newsletters and FAQs on hostelling and backpacking. The site is available in 13 languages and offers multi-currency billing.
London-based HostelBookers was launched in 2004 and now employs a team of over 120 people. It has over 20,000 properties available in more than 3,500 locations worldwide and provides customers with a range of accommodation, from hostels, camping and self catering apartments to guesthouses and budget hotels. The site is available in 11 languages.
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