Skift Take

This year has been characterized by merger mania among online travel agencies and hotels. Now the student travel agencies are getting into the act, as well.

Australia-based travel agency Flight Centre wants to get more digital and youthful and that’s why it has offered to acquire Massachusetts-based Student Universe for $28 million.

If the deal, which is backed by Student Universe parent Travelonomy but is subject to its shareholder approval, closes then Flight Centre would leverage Student Universe’s digital presence and student customer base to bolster its other youth-oriented businesses. These include Student Flights, tour operator Top Deck, and gapyear.com.

Current Student Universe management would stay on, according to Flight Centre. The student travel agency, which offers negotiated deals for students, did $250 million in gross bookings in 2015, according to Flight Centre.

Student Universe employs 160 people.

“This will be an amazing collaboration that will bring us the unique opportunity to access a global team with an established track record while maintaining our autonomy and allowing us to continue to flourish with our existing team and structure,” said Student Universe CEO Atle Skalleberg.

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Tags: flight centre, studentuniverse

Photo credit: Students at Coachella music festival. Shawn Ahmed / Flickr

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