Simon Property Group, the Indianapolis-based company that owns more U.S. shopping malls than any other entity in the country, announced early last month that it was close to closing an $81 million agreement that would acquire Forever 21, which specializes in apparel for teens, out of bankruptcy. The reason, according to an item in Fast Company, the acquisition “is an attempt to stop more of their malls from becoming ghost towns. Simon Property Group’s malls have more than 100 Forever 21 stores in them alone.” The move came at about the same time that Simon announced its plans to acquire rival mall owner Taubman in a deal valued at $3.6 billion. Anything that Simon does has an impact on the inbound tourism industry in the U.S., as its more than 100 malls are staples on the itineraries of international group tours across the country.
Attraction World CEO Paul Stobbs has led a buyout of theme park and attraction ticket specialist for an undisclosed amount. Founded in 2006, the Birmingham, UK-based company has grown to the point at which it could tap into an inventory, according to its LinkedIn pages, of 8,000 attractions, tours, experiences and more in over 50 countries, including the U.S., across the world. As a result of the acquisition, private equity firm Maven Capital Partners and chairman Stephen Richards are leaving the business. Maven investment director Andrew Symmonds said: “We are pleased with the return that we have generated for our investors from the sale of our stake in Attraction World.” Departing Attraction World chairman Richards said: “I would like to thank Maven for their support during my tenure … The partnership has provided a stable platform for the continued growth of the Attraction World business as it looks to capitalize on new opportunities.”
GoVisit Media has the finalization of the purchase of WhereTraveler.com® (US edition) and trademark license rights to Where® publications in major markets across the USA from Morris Visitor Publications, LLC, for an undisclosed amount. Said Peter Flower, CEO of GoVisit Media: “Where® is a legacy brand with instant recognition and a direct association to hospitality, travel and tourism. GoVisit Media is perfectly positioned to propel Where® and WhereTraveler.com® to new heights, keeping up with requests for reliable destination information emanating from a constantly connected new generation of travelers.”
In conjunction with the purchase, GoVisit Media also announced the imminent revamping of the WhereTraveler.com® platform, conducted through its exclusive partnership with VisitorTix, a tour and activities online ticket sales facilitator. “The partnership with Where® represents an ideal showcase for the tremendous opportunities possible with our connected, omni-channel platform solution,” said Bruce Amick, CEO and co-founder of VisitorTix which, he added, “is the result of a journey started over fifteen years ago when I co-founded Broadway Inbound for the purpose of releasing the first set of APIs which granted live access to Broadway Shows inventory, for online travel agents (OTAs) and tour operators.”
Also a part of the transaction activity was Jonathan Elkoubi, VisitorTix co-founder and chief commercial officer, well known in the travel and tourism community in New York City.