Skift Breaking News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Hotels

Selina Files Paperwork to Move a Step Closer to Going Public Through SPAC

2 months ago

Hospitality brand Selina has filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to take another step in going public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company BOA Acquisition Corporation.

The timing is still vague, however.

“The proposed SPAC merger, which has been approved by the board of directors of BOA, is expected to be completed as soon as practicable, subject to approval by the shareholders of BOA, the effectiveness of the registration statement, and other customary closing conditions,” the company said.

Selina’s merger, which was originally due to close in the first half of this year, could see the company end up being valued at $1.2 billion. The brand generated $39.9 worth of revenue during the first quarter this year, a 150 percent increase from the same period last year.

Hotels

Selina Pushes Back Its SPAC Deal

4 months ago

Hospitality brand Selina has said it now aims to go public in the third quarter of 2022. Originally its merger with BOA Acquisition Corp — a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) — was due to close in the first half of the year.

The listing update comes as the brand, which targets millennial and Gen Z travelers, posted revenue of $39.9 million for the first quarter of this year, which was up 150.8 percent increase on last year’s quarter.

It also signed or opened 11 properties in the first quarter: five new locations in Israel, Australia and Brazil and six in Morocco, Portugal, the UK and Israel. Currently it has 155 open and secured properties.

Selina wants to grab the attention of investors who want to tap into the growing number of upwardly mobile millennial workers. After its SPAC, which could value the firm at $1.2 billion, the combined company will operate as Selina Hospitality Plc and trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SLNA.”

Business Travel

American Express Global Business Travel To Debut on Tuesday — Interesting Factoids

4 months ago

It’s a holiday weekend in the U.S. so what better time to break up the monotony of barbecues and beach, and burrow into a Securities and Exchange Commission filing about the pending SPAC debut Tuesday of American Express Global Business Travel.

Among the takeaways:

  • The merger of Apollo Strategic Growth Capital and Amex GBT will see Amex GBT’s existing investors, including American Express, Certares, and Expedia Group, among others, controlling 74 percent of the voting power. They’ll have the power to make all of the big decisions, including board of director composition.
  • Global Business Travel Group, as the company will be formally called, will be considered to be controlled by American Express Co., and will be regulated by the U.S. Federal Reserve. As Skift previously reported, Global Business Travel Group can continue doing business as American Express Global Business Travel because of an 11-year trademark pact.
  • Only 15 percent of the company’s stock is expected to be owned by public shareholders.
  • Egencia, which Amex GBT acquired from Expedia Group in November 2021, did $8.4 billion in transactions in pre-pandemic 2019. Expedia Group traditionally disclosed revenue for its corporate segment, but not total transaction value for Egencia. That $8.4 billion would have amounted to roughly 8 percent of Expedia Group’s gross bookings that year.
  • The Egencia business was therefore a significant volumes chunk of Expedia Group, which sold Egencia during a huge business travel downturn in a drive to simplify Expedia’s overall operation. At any rate, Expedia Group got a 13 percent stake in Amex GBT because of the deal.
  • Ovation Travel, which Amex GBT acquired in January 2021, was tiny compared with Egencia in total transaction value, $1.2 billion for Ovation versus $8.4 billion for Egencia.
  • Amex GBT CEO Paul Abbott had 2021 total compensation of $18.4 million compared with $5 million a year earlier.

Tuesday’s stock market coming out party for Amex GBT, trading under the stock symbol GBTG, should be an interesting one to watch in terms of investor confidence in the future of managed business travel.

Business Travel

Mondee Adds 6 Million Subscribers Ahead of SPAC Deal

4 months ago

Travel technology company Mondee has seen “enhanced marketing costs” as it builds up the number of subscribers for its travel platforms.

The company now has 10 million users signed up to its subscription products including TripPlanet and Unpub, compared to four million in December last year. The boost may be a result of its new alliance with Arthur J. Gallagher, which gave it access to 287,000 business and organizations.

However, gaining new subscribers comes at a cost. Mondee posted a net loss of $7 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022, “after enhanced marketing costs to acquire lifetime customers and increase market share at this opportune inflection point of post-pandemic recovery.”

Mondee made a net loss of $12 million in the 2021 first quarter.

Gross revenue was $469 million, up 205 percent year-over-year, compared to $154 million in the first quarter of 2021. Net revenue was $38 million, up 179 percent year-over-year.

The results were posted on Friday, ahead of its planned business combination with Ithax Acquisition Corp. Mondee wants to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol “MOND”.

Its adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) was $2 million, an improvement of $6 million compared to a loss of $4 million in the first quarter last year.

Last month Ithax, a special purpose acquisition company, raised an additional $20 million for its private investment in public equity, or PIPE, from Elliott Management and Siris Capital — the institutional investors who happen to be owners of Travelport.

Founder and CEO Prasad Gundumogula has said the company was ready to get back to a vigorous tempo of growth it saw before coronavirus. “The Mondee Marketplace made significant progress, buoyed not only by the post-pandemic travel recovery, but also by our unique traveltech ecosystem, causing us to regain the vigorous tempo of our pre-pandemic organic growth,” he said.

“Our customers and travelers have been early adopters of our recent fintech, martech, insurtech, and other ancillary offerings, driving the almost three-fold organic increase in our year-over-year net revenue.”

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