In a recent issue of Travel Weekly, Christine Franks, Tui Group’s head of M&A, told a reporter that the Tui specialist and activity division, which includes Hotelbeds as well as Hayes and Jarvis, Crystal and Citalia, is a prime candidate to be sold off, either as a group or individually, however, Franks said, Tui was in no rush to make a decision.
According to several sources, the most persistent rumor circulating within the industry is that Expedia made an offer that was accepted, but at the last minute a private equity company outbid them and is currently in due diligence. The most likely outcome, many believe (or hope), is an acquisition by a private equity firm where current management would retain a portion of the ownership. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, Tui announced a major restructuring within their organization that revised the way products would be contracted as follows:
- There is high anxiety at Hotelbeds after a restructuring earlier this year by its parent company, Tui, clearly delineated roles for its American subsidiaries:
- Hotelbeds, with 6,000 employees worldwide, was dedicated to online wholesale accommodation and FITs;
- Destination Management (Brand Destination Services) was put in charge of Groups, Mice, Roundtrips, Tailor Made, charter ops, cruises, etc. for third-party clients and Tui Roundtrip Clients; and
- Tui Destination Services in charge of the charter services and operations of Tui clients.