CVC, the dominant travel company in Argentina and South America, is expanding its reach outside its home country. As part of a planned internationalization strategy, the tour operator/travel agency announced last week that it has acquired a majority interest in three Argentine operators and, as a result, nine new brands.
The companies are Biblos and Avantrip (part of the same group, Bibam) and Ola Turismo for nearly $20 million. For the three, the Brazilian company disbursed US $ 19.4 million (about R $ 80 million).
The Bibam Group was founded in 1979 and is among the largest e-commerce businesses in Argentina. It has more than 400 employees and operates in the online sector through platforms that offer travel products and services, as well as a benefits and loyalty program (Avantrip.com, Alliances, Avantrip Pymes and Quieroviajes). In the off-line sector it operates through travel agencies (Biblos and FCM Travel Solution) focus on the luxury, corporate and events market, with confirmed annual reserves of approximately $ 200 million in 2017.
Ola Transatlántica Turismo has more than 40 years of experience and has more than 320 employees. Ola Transatlántica Turismo has three brands: the Ola Mayorista de Turismo, Quinceañas and Transatlántica Viajes y Turismo, with annual reserves confirmed in 2017 of US $ 285 million. Ola Transatlántica Turismo is based in Rosario and offers products and services throughout the Argentine territory through multi-brand travel agencies.
Another consequence of the acquisitions could be increased traffic to the United States, as the CVC corporate structure will now include additional units selling travel to the USA.
Another TUI? In an interview with the Brazilian travel trade news site, PANROTAS, Luiz Eduardo Falco said the choice of Argentina as a country in which start its internationalization, Argentina was an obvious choice, explaining that “the customers of the companies bought go to Brazil, the Caribbean and Orlando, and the only difference is that they go more to Spain than to Portugal. That is, there is a very big coincidence in the flow of tourists where we already have agreements, negotiations and structure. This makes it easier to produce products.”
According to PANROTAS, CVC is negotiating new acquisitions in Brazil and abroad, with a focus on Chile, Mexico and Portugal.
In another interview, this one with Guilherme Paulus, the founder of CVC, Paulus told PANROTAS that, with additional receptive business brought about by the expansion of the company “CVC may be one of those anchors to increase the flow of foreigners in Brazil,” he said, adding that his dream is to see CVC Corp rival the German giant TUI, the world’s largest operator, adding, “With the beginning of the internationalization, much of the way is already gone.”
Editor’s note: Prior to last week’s announcement, CVC acquired a half-dozen Brazilian operators in the past several years, the most notable being Grupo Trend, which is headquartered in Orlando, in May 2017. Weeks later, CVC announced that it had retained JTB Americas, a unit of Japan’s largest tour operator, to serve CVC’s customers New York, Florida and California in the United States, suggests that it is trying to expand its footprint in both North America and South America through the synergy brought about by its partnership with JTB and the latter’s global network, which includes subsidiaries in Brazil. Recently, JTB amended the partnership by informing CVC they would no longer be servicing their F.I.T. clients as they prefer to focus on the group sector.