It hasn’t taken long for EQT, the Swedish private equity firm, which earlier this year purchased a collection of travel business units operating under the Kuoni brand, to grow its investment, as Kuoni (GTA) has announced that it, in turn, has purchased MTS Globe, another bedbank-accommodations provider that operates in 15 countries in and around the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, Mexico´s Caribbean Coast, the Persian Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean. The 10,000 hotel partners it says it has acquired will leapfrog GTA over Tourico Holidays as the number two bedbank operator in the world, just behind Hotelbeds.com—this according to information that the companies have posted.
The largest of the top three bedbanks, Hotelbeds, was recently sold by the Tui Group for €1.19 billion ($2.12 billion) to the London-based private equity firm Cinven Capital Management and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
MTS Globe’s existing management team and network will continue to operate under the MTS Globe brand. In a statement, the company said: “MTS Globe’s large portfolio in the Mediterranean beach destinations ideally complements GTA’s global accommodation and destination services offering.”
Once referred to primarily by its proper name, Gulliver Travels Associates, GTA was founded in 1975. It went through a dizzying series of ownership changes in the past dozen years—from Cendant to Travelport to Kuoni, before the latter’s tour operator functions were picked up earlier this year by EQT.
The latest move leaves the inventory of the top three bedbanks thus: