The deal for Comvel GmBH, which operates Weg.de, Ferien.de and a number of other travel portals, will see the Swiss LastMinute.com Group expand its operations in central Europe with its German revenue expected to increase from $20.2 million (€17 million) to $43.9 million (€37 million) next year.
It also continues Lastminute.com’s move away from a reliance on low-margin flight bookings. Weg.de’s main focus (80 percent) is selling package holidays, which is a much more lucrative line of business.
Fabio Cannavale, CEO of Lastminute.com Group, said: “Comvel GmbH with its brand Weg.de is a perfect complement to our business model and represents a further step ahead in the accomplishment of our strategy of becoming the reference player in the European packaged holidays arena.”
The sale is another travel-related disposal for media company ProSiebenSat.1. Earlier this year, it sold Etraveli, the Nordic online travel site, to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for $565 million.
ProSiebenSat.1 bought Comvel GmbH, via its subsidiary Seven Ventures, in late 2013 with the aim of integrating travel retail with its existing TV ventures.
The sales of Etraveli and now Comvel indicate this wasn’t a success.
“Changing market conditions, for example, can mean that ProSiebenSat.1 is no longer the best owner for an investment,” ProSiebenSat.1 said.
“In these singular cases, ProSiebenSat.1 endeavors to sell its shareholding to a new owner that can better manage and develop the business.
“The group commenced such a strategic review process for its travel portfolio in spring 2017. As a result, ProSiebenSat.1 Group already sold all of its shares in the global online travel agency Etraveli to the strategic financial investor CVC in June of this year. By selling weg.de ProSiebenSat.1 is continuing this strategy.”