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Webjet lands global deal with European travel business

Webjet lands global deal with European travel business

Deal, handshake

A B2B travel wholesaler servicing clients in Europe has been scooped up by the ASX-listed digital travel mogul Webjet.

Firms: DLA Piper (Webjet Limited); Mayer Brown (Vitruvian); Ashurst (UBS and Credit Suisse acting joint lead managers and underwriters)

Deal: JacTravel has been acquired by Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) from UK based equity fund Vitruvian.

Value: AU$330 million

Area: M&A, corporate, finance

Key players: The DLA Piper team advising Webjet Limted (Webjet) was led by partner Joel Cox (pictured). Senior associate James McCarthy, solicitor Jack McDonell and foreign legal associate Bradley Heath.

Head of corporate Australia James Philips led the DLA team advising on equity capital markets. He was assisted by senior associate Kelly Morrison, solicitor Jeffrey Chen and graduate Amina Karcic. 

DLA’s UK acquisition team was also involved in the deal, led by partner Anu Balasubramanian, and assisted by senior associate Simon Wright and associate Liam McLoughlin. They were supported by DLA’s UK intellectual property partner Gareth Stokes and senior associate Nick Hilton.

Other lawyers from the global firm’s China, Romania, the Middle East and US offices were also involved. 

Deal significance: JacTravel provides online hotel bookings and inbound ravel services, with directly contracted hotels numbering 10,000. The UK-based business has an annual total transaction value of AU$657 million and is considered a tourism market lead, especially in Europe.

James Philips, DLA Australia’s head of corporate, said that Webjet’s acquisition of JacTravel was characterised by its complexity.

“This transaction highlights DLA Piper’s strengths as a leading advisor to listed tech companies, and our capacity to execute complex, interdependent transactions in different jurisdictions and time zones, each involving several parties,” Mr Philips said.

Ashurst acted for UBS and Credit Suisse, which were joint lead managers and underwriters for the deal. Deloitte was the independent accountant in the transaction.

Webjet has been a long-standing client of global firm DLA Piper and, according to partner Joel Cox, this latest deal was an important part of the company’s international growth strategy. He added that the company’s current focus was to become the second largest B2B travel supplier globally.

“The acquisition of JacTravel, with its highly complementary business lines, repositions our client’s B2B business WebBeds, increasing the depth and breadth of their offering – particularly in the important European market,” Mr Cox said.

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