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Webjet advised on US$173m purchase of UAE travel firm

Webjet advised on US$173m purchase of UAE travel firm

Australian online travel business has been advised on its US$173 million purchase of UAE-based travel firm Destinations of the World.

Firm: DLA Piper (Webjet Limited); Evercore (lead financial advisor to Webjet), Credit Suisse and UBS (Webjet's joint financial advisors); Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Destinations of the World and Gulf Capital); Ashurst (underwriters counsel).

Deal: Webjet has bought Destinations of the World in a fully underwritten entitlement offer from Abu-Dhabi-based private equity firm Gulf Capital.

Area: M&A, ECM.

Value: US$173 million

Key players: The DLA M&A team was led in the UAE by Ben Gillespie (partner), Natalia Tombs (legal consultant) and Niamh Lindsell (trainee solicitor); in Australia by Joel Cox (partner), James McCarthy (senior associate), Tara Alexandra (solicitor) and Beau Paterson (graduate solicitor); in Kuwait by Kashif Syed (senior legal consultant); in Saudi Arabia by Leopold Zentner (legal director); in China by Stewart Wang (partner) and Frank Chen (associate); and in Romania, by Cristina Bucur.

The DLA ECM team advising on the entitlement offer was led by David Ryan (partner), Elliot Cheung (senior associate) and Claudia McEwen (solicitor).

Deal significance: DLA partner Joel Cox said it was exciting to work with Webjet which was doing transformative M&A on a truly global scale.

“The transaction continues Webjet’s strategic focus on growing its B2B business globally, with DOTW having operations in more than 30 countries and significantly increasing Webjet’s scale in the B2B market in Asia, Europe and the Middle East,” he said.

The firm’s regional head of corporate in the Middle East Ben Gillespie added: “With M&A lawyers in over 40 countries, the multijurisdictional nature of the deal is exactly the type of transaction DLA Piper is geared for. It was a pleasure to work as part of a global team to support Webjet on such an important transaction.”

DLA Piper Australia head of ECM David Ryan ntoed: “This is another example of DLA Piper’s market leading capability and expertise in M&A and equity capital markets transactions in the technology sector, demonstrated by our track record of recent technology sector transactions.”

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