3i supports merger of International Cruise & Excursions and SOR Technology

No Comments


3i Group plc (“3i”) announced today that International Cruise & Excursion (“ICE”), a global provider of technology-based, travel-related loyalty solutions in which 3i invested in June 2018, is merging with SOR Technology (“SOR”). As part of the transaction, 3i is investing an additional $24m of equity in ICE.

Founded in 2004 by Kevin Schneider and Elliot Springer, SOR has developed a web-based travel technology platform that can be customised to the needs of its clients and users.  The platform was built to showcase travel inventory from worldwide travel suppliers, providing end user customers access to substantial savings on hotels, resorts, cruises, vacation homes, car rentals, flights and leisure activities.  The SOR platform services B2B clients and consumers worldwide and is available in 17 languages and 44 currencies.

Both ICE and SOR are committed to providing innovative technology-based loyalty and reward solutions for the delivery of travel and leisure.  The combination of the two companies will provide valuable enhancements to their global network of travel suppliers, their B2B partners and their customers globally.  John Rowley, will remain as CEO of the combined enterprise.  Kevin Schneider and Elliot Springer will join ICE’s senior leadership team and become shareholders in the business.

John Rowley, CEO and co-founder of ICE, commented:

“Our partnership with SOR will improve our ability to offer our brand partners and their members functionality to browse and book travel in 17 languages and 44 currencies. As a combined enterprise, we will be better positioned to serve the members of our respective B2B customers on a global basis, while greatly accelerating ICE’s ability to grow and support international markets.”

Kevin Schneider, CEO and co-founder of SOR, commented:

“Combining ICE’s global scale, strong service capabilities and expertise in cruise and lifestyle products with SOR’s customizable travel platform and expertise in hotel bookings will enable us to offer our customers a complete travel and loyalty solution, including the greatest savings across all travel and leisure offerings. Elliot and I are excited to join the ICE leadership team to drive our combined business and accelerate the next phase of its growth.”

Andrew Olinick, Partner, 3i Private Equity, added:

“ICE and SOR have highly complementary strengths in cruise and hotel bookings, respectively. The addition of SOR augments ICE’s hotel platform capabilities, including strong international market support, further improving its growth prospects while diversifying its client base and revenue model. SOR has a strong management team led by the two founders and we are excited to work with them on the future development and integration of the two companies.”


Download this press release   


For further information, contact:

3i Group plc


Silvia Santoro

Investor enquiries


Kathryn van der Kroft

Media enquiries




Tel: +44 20 7975 3258

Email: silvia.santoro@3i.com


Tel: +44 20 7975 3021

Email: kathryn.vanderkroft@3i.com



Notes to editors:


About 3i Group

3i is a leading international investment manager focused on mid-market private equity and infrastructure. Its core investment markets are northern Europe and North America. For further information, please visit: www.3i.com.


About ICE

International Cruise & Excursion, Inc. (ICE) is a leading international leisure travel and lifestyle benefits organisation with a global network of premier corporate, leisure and affinity-based alliance partners.

ICE is a market maker and global provider of travel, leisure-based loyalty and reward programmes. Leveraging the innate power and appeal of vacations and unique leisure-related products and services, ICE provides travel-based benefit programmes to millions of consumers, with scalable travel and loyalty solutions for some of the world’s most respected brands. ICE is unmatched in delivering travel, leisure and lifestyle products and services through powerful marketing and technology solutions. ICE creates and manages customised B2B2C and B2C vacation and leisurecentric programmes, supported in more than 21 languages, from nine global offices in the US, UK, Europe, India, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.


Categories: News


DIF acquires Spanish hospital


Madrid, 5 February 2019 – DIF is pleased to announce that it has closed the acquisition of a 100% interest in the Infanta Leonor Hospital in Spain located in the Vallecas district, southeast of Madrid. DIF Infrastructure V acquired the interest from Pralesa Concesiones and three other minority shareholders.

The project consists of the construction, maintenance and operation of the non-medical services of the Infanta Leonor Hospital which operates under an availability based payment scheme granted by the Community of Madrid. The hospital started operations in 2007 and the concession will run until 2035.

Infanta Leonor Hospital is one of the primary hospitals in the Madrid region, with a surface area of ca. 85,000 sqm and over 200 beds, providing services to a population of over 300,000 patients.

Fernando Moreno, DIF Partner and Head of Spain, added: “DIF is very pleased to have closed this acquisition. We are looking forward to working together with all stakeholders involved in the hospital to provide excellent services to the community of Vallecas. We believe this high quality project fits our existing Spanish portfolio very well and will deliver a stable yield to our investors”.

In this acquisition, DIF was advised by PwC (Financial), Jacobs (Technical), Garrigues (Tax) and Herbert Smith Freehills (Legal).

About DIF
DIF is an independent infrastructure fund manager, with €5.6 billion of assets under management across seven closed-end infrastructure funds and several co-investment vehicles. DIF invests in greenfield and brownfield infrastructure assets located primarily in Europe, North America and Australasia through two complementary strategies:

  • DIF Infrastructure V targets equity investments in public-private partnerships (PPP/PFI/P3), concessions, regulated assets and renewable energy projects with long-term contracted or regulated income streams that generate stable and predictable cash flows.
  • DIF Core Infrastructure Fund I targets equity investments in small to mid-sized infrastructure assets in the energy, transportation and telecom sectors with mid-term contracted income streams that generate stable and predictable cash flows.

DIF has a team of over 115 professionals, based in eight offices located in Schiphol (the Netherlands), Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Paris, Sydney and Toronto. Please visit www.dif.eu for further information.

Allard Ruijs, Partner
Email: a.ruijs@dif.eu

Categories: News


AURELIUS subsidiary GHOTEL hotel & living to open new hotel in Munich

Aurelius Capital

  • New hotel to be operated as a franchisee for AccorHotels in Munich
  • Fifth AccorHotels location to open in 2022
  • GHOTEL to continue its successful expansion at a rapid pace in 2019

Munich / Bonn, January 29, 2019 – The GHOTEL Group (www.ghotel.de), a subsidiary of AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA (ISIN DE000A0JK2A8), will open another hotel in Munich-Neuperlach as a franchise partner of AccorHotels. Thus, the successful collaboration with AccorHotels continues with the fifth jointly operated location. The hotel will have 172 rooms on five floors and will be marketed in the 3-star segment under the brand name ibis Styles. The opening of the newly built hotel is planned for 2022.

The new hotel will be conveniently located close to the subway line and across from the well-known shopping center “PEP Einkaufscenter Neuperlach.” It will be built in the middle of an attractive neighborhood of office buildings within easy reach of the Munich Exhibition Center. The lessor is the project development company CONCRETE Capital in a joint venture with BHB Bauträger GmbH Bayern. The hotel development is part of the “New Neuperlach Center” project, featuring a usage mix ranging from local supply and services, rental and student apartments to top-quality restaurants.

“We are expanding our portfolio in Munich with this new hotel to be operated under the ibis Styles brand. Beginning in 2022, the new hotel in München-Neuperlach will complement the two existing GHOTEL hotel & living locations in “Munich City” and “Munich-Nymphenburg,” which we have operated for many years. At the same time, we are deepening our successful partnership with AccorHotels. This is already the fifth project we will realize with Accor within a short period of time,” says Jens Lehmann, Managing Director of the GHOTEL Group.

Franchise agreements for two hotels to be operated at Düsseldorf Airport under the Novotel and ibis brands were signed in November 2017. The opening of these hotels is planned for 2020. In addition, franchise agreements for two new hotels in Bayreuth were signed with AccorHotels in mid-2018. These are expected to open in late 2019. With the latest contract signing, the GHOTEL Group has again positioned itself as an attractive franchise partner for the AccorHotels international hotel group.

The expansion of the GHOTEL Group will continue at a rapid pace in the current year as well.

Categories: News


ucandoo makes vacationing easily affordable


The finTech-company, ucandoo, is revolutionizing the market for travel financing

Erfurt, Germany based ucandoo raised a single-digit million investment from lead-investor bm|t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh and Alpanekino Ltd. ucandoo is a fintech start-up that has developed a platform to make financing travel hassle-free. Experts estimate that today 25 percent of all travel is financed, and the market is growing strongly.

ucandoo´s platform replaces the current cumbersome path via banks and unites the largely separate worlds of travel booking and travel financing.

Customers can now decide in a travel agency if they would like to pay for travel in the conventional manner or with a credit financing with a maximum 12-month duration and a fair interest rate. With only a few data inputs, ucandoo´s partner bank performs an instant creditworthiness check and delivers a financing decision. The service is simple and transparent for the customer and saves significant time spent filling out paperwork at a bank, and, importantly, allows for the time-shifting of payment for travel.

Ucandoo Makes Vacationing Easily Affordable

ucandoo is first launching its platform for physical travel agencies and will then address the online market in a second phase. In Germany, for example, over 60% of leisure travel is still booked with physical travel agencies. ucandoo has already won the largest travel-coop in Europe, Raiffeisen-Touristikgruppe, with 7,000 travel agencies in Germany, Austria, Belgian, Holland, and Luxemburg as a key partner. The service will be successively rolled out in Raiffeisen-Touristikgruppe travel agencies throughout 2019. “The product should allow people to take trips that they previously could not have afforded,” explained shareholder and manager Julien Bahadir. Mr. Bahadir also believes the availability of easy financing will result in the booking of higher-end travel. “This investment will allow us to sustainably change the market for financed travel,” he added.

We strengthen Thüringen´s Economy through targeted investments in innovative growth companies with high potential,” said Kevin Reeder, CEO of bm|t beteiligungsmanagement gmbh. “We believe in the ucandoo team and that they will significantly contribute to the travel market. The startup from Erfurt has a strong idea and vision for disrupting the travel financing market with a sleek technology platform that creates a win-win situation. The travel agencies can offer an added-value service that will increase their bookings and travelers will now have additional options for their travel.”


Annette Brünger
ucandoo GmbH
+49 (0) 163 3345100

About bm|t:

bm|t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh currently manages eight investment funds with a volume of 320 Mio. EUR. As the universal investment company for the federal state of Thuringia, bm|t invests in innovative companies across all sectors and stages, from seed investments in startups to growth equity and mezzanine funding for established companies to succession investments such as MBOs and MBIs. The company´s mission is to strengthen Thuringia´s economy while generating positive investment results through targeted investments in innovative growth companies with high potential. In addition to capital, bm|t brings a wealth of experience and a strong network to its investee-partners.



Categories: News


The Carlyle Group Invests in Wakanow.com, One of West Africa’s Largest Online Travel Agencies


Lagos – Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) today announced that it has agreed to invest $40 million in Wakanow.com Limited (Wakanow), an online travel agency focused on West and East Africa, with principal operations in Nigeria. Equity came from Carlyle’s Sub-Saharan Africa fund and further financial details were not disclosed.

Founded in 2009 in Nigeria, Wakanow is one of West Africa’s largest full-service online travel companies, providing its customers with a one-stop online booking portal for flights, hotels, holiday packages, and other travel services and ancillaries. Complementing their online offering, Wakanow also operates a network of traditional brick-and-mortar travel centres and has operations in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, UAE and the UK.

Wakanow enjoys strong brand recognition and a scale advantages in its local markets. This investment adds to Carlyle’s experience in the online travel sector, where it has invested in companies such as C-trip, one of the major online travel agencies operating across China, the Latin American travel and tour operator CVC Brasil, and Vasco Turismo, one of the largest travel operations groups in Peru.

Obinna Ekezie, Co-Founder and CEO, Wakanow, said: “We are excited to partner with Carlyle as we continue to grow and expand in Africa and beyond. Carlyle’s global footprint and scale as well as its extensive experience and network in the online travel sector will help us to further develop our offerings and broaden our customer base.”

Idris Mohammed, Managing Director, The Carlyle Group, said: “Wakanow has experienced incredible growth since inception, disrupting the travel market and taking market share both online and offline. We believe that this strong growth trajectory will continue as Wakanow benefits from an expanding middle class across the continent in addition to increasing internet penetration and mobile connectivity, which is driving increased online traffic. We look forward to working with Wakanow’s management team to help them deliver on their vision for growth and expansion.”

Mayowa Ayodele, Chief Investment Officer, Platform Capital, one of Wakanow’s lead investors, said: “We are happy to partner with Carlyle and look forward to working together with them to strengthen Wakanow’s market position, accelerate innovation, deepen its systems and processes to realize the vision of a truly world class online travel agency with African roots.”

* * * * *

Media contacts:

Obinna Ekezie
Tel: +234 (0) 803 725 2736

The Carlyle Group
Catherine Armstrong
Tel: +44 (0)20 7894 1632

About Wakanow

Wakanow Limited is Nigeria’s leading travel business with a strong presence in West Africa and an increasingly growing reach across the African continent. The company offers an increasing set of products to address the holiday making desires of the African consumer, while showcasing and offering the Africa holiday experience to the rest of the world. Its partnerships with key global players in the travel space make it a one-stop travel solution at a competitive price point. The company employs over a 100 people and operates offices in strategic locations across the continent.

About The Carlyle Group

The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative asset manager with $212 billion of assets under management across 339 investment vehicles as of September 30, 2018. Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Credit and Investment Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, real estate, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,625 people in 31 offices across six continents.

Web: www.carlyle.com 
Videos: www.youtube.com/onecarlyle  
Tweets: www.twitter.com/onecarlyle
Podcasts: www.carlyle.com/about-carlyle/market-commentary

About Carlyle Sub-Saharan Africa Fund (CSSAF)

Established in 2012, CSSAF and its affiliates, with $698 million of committed capital, have invested over $550 million to date across a variety of industries, including energy, financial services, TMT, retail, logistics, business services and mining services, and across a variety of geographies, including South Africa, Gabon, Nigeria, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. CSSAF makes buyout and growth capital investments in private and public companies from offices in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria.

About Platform Capital

Platform Capital is a growth markets focused, sector agnostic, principal investments firm.

Platform deploys patient, value accretive capital alongside international and local value investors to create champion businesses with the ability for regional scale. The firm’s extensive on-the-ground relationships and real time market insights makes it a unique co-investment partner.

Categories: News


The Carlyle Group and Explorer Investments Acquire Penha Longa Hotel & Golf Resort


Lisbon, Portugal – Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG), and Explorer Investments, an independent alternative asset management company in Portugal, today announced they have purchased Penha Longa Hotel & Golf Resort in Portugal.  Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Resort will continue to be managed by Ritz-Carlton, a Marriot Group company, who have run the resort since December 2003.

Penha Longa Hotel & Golf Resort, part of Quinta da Penha Longa, in Sintra, is one of the most iconic resorts in Portugal, with 194 rooms, a spa and a wellness centre as well as more than 3,000m2 conference and meeting facilities. The resort features a golf course, highlighted as one of the top 30 best golf courses in Europe, and designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. In addition to extensive meeting, sporting and leisure facilities, in 2018 Penha Longa became the first hotel in Portugal to have two restaurants awarded Michelin stars.

Peter Stoll, Managing Director for Carlyle European Realty advisory team, said: “Penha Longa is one of the best-known and most-established hotels in Portugal, and the hospitality sector in the country is experiencing a strong demand from both leisure and corporate travellers. We are excited to partner with Explorer Investments to develop the full potential of the resort.”

Pedro Seabra, Partner for Real Estate of Explorer, said: “The Explorer’s co-investing and asset management business in Real Estate and Hospitality is growing in a sustainable way, and we are very happy with the quality of this asset, which comprises state of the art hospitality and first-class real estate development, and the quality of our partner in this investment”.

CBRE acted as an advisor to the transaction. Carlyle and Explorer received additional support by Uría Menéndez – Proença de Carvalho and Deloitte.

* * * * *

About The Carlyle Group

The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative asset manager with $212 billion of assets under management across 339 investment vehicles as of September 30, 2018. Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Credit and Investment Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, real estate, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,625 people in 31 offices across six continents.

Web: www.carlyle.com
Videos: www.youtube.com/onecarlyle
Tweets: www.twitter.com/onecarlyle
Podcasts: www.carlyle.com/about-carlyle/market-commentary

About Carlyle Europe Realty

Carlyle Europe Realty (CER) is focuses on investments in a thematic and targeted way in real estate and real estate related assets and companies primarily in the United Kingdom, France and Germany, as well as Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands pursuing an opportunistic investment and management strategy. The CER investment team is led by European real estate veteran Peter Stoll and a senior team that averages over 17 years of European principal investing experience. The CER investment team has an on-the-ground presence in key locations in the United Kingdom, France and Germany and a pan-European investment team based in London, as well as benefitting from the global resources of Carlyle.

About Explorer Investments

Founded in 2003, Explorer is the independent management company of alternative assets with the greatest experience and track record in Portugal. Explorer manages and advises funds with a total value in the region of € 1,500M, divided into three Business Areas: Private Equity, Growth Capital, Tourism and Real Estate. Explorer’s team is made up of more than 35 people, with complementary experience in investment banking, consulting, legal advice and industry. The investment track record of its team, its deep knowledge of Portuguese business fabric, its experience in contracting with public entities and its long-term relationships with banks, financial intermediaries and lawyers, gives Explorer a unique competitive advantage in the management of alternative assets in Portugal. Explorer has a relevant presence in the Portuguese real estate market since 2012, as investment adviser of the Discovery Property Fund, a Tourism oriented fund, with Gross assets in the region of € 950 M, and the recently created Explorer Real Estate I, focused on acquiring Commercial Real Estate in Lisbon, with a gross asset Value in the region of € 200 M.

Media contacts:

The Carlyle Group
Catherine Armstrong 
Tel: +44 (0) 207 894 1632 
Email: catherine.armstrong@carlyle.com

José Pedro Luís
939 743 133

Categories: News


Triton has signed an agreement to acquire Sunweb Group


Stockholm (Sweden) / Rotterdam (Netherlands) 18 December 2018 – Funds advised by Triton (“Triton“) have signed an agreement to acquire Sunweb Group (“Sunweb”), a leading European online tour operator. Terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Founded 1991 in Netherlands, and with more than EUR 600m in turnover, Sunweb serves ~1 million customers annually providing packaged holidays to more than 20 focal destinations across Europe and the Mediterranean. As an online tour operator, Sunweb combines the best features of the online travel agencies’ asset light business model and the content quality and customer experience provided by traditional tour operators.

“Sunweb´s online tour operating model is a unique hybrid between traditional tour operators and online travel agencies. The value chain in travel is changing, and Sunweb has proven that its position and business model is resilient and winning in this complex environment. Directly sourced quality content sold directly to the consumer through Sunweb’s own digital sales channels makes the company well position to benefit from the megatrends of growing travel and increased conversion to online,” said Per Agebäck, Investment Advisory Professional, sector leader for consumer and advisor to the Triton Funds.

“We are pleased to welcome Triton as new majority owner of Sunweb. They have demonstrated deep sector knowledge of the travel space and is the right partner to the company as we continue investing in digital capabilities and expand across Europe,” said Joost Romeijn, founder of Sunweb, who will remain invested in the group.

Headquartered in Netherlands and Switzerland, with additional sales offices in core source markets, the company retains leading European market positions in both winter sports and summer holiday offerings. Consisting of the five powerhouse brands; Sunweb Sun, Sunweb Ski, Eliza was here, Primavera and GoGo, Sunweb Group has approximately 500 employees and direct contracts with 6,000+ accommodations including hotels, apartments and resorts. Growing from core markets in Netherlands, Belgium and France, the group has expanded into Denmark, Germany and the UK and continues to explore opportunities for geographic expansion.

“We look forward to actively supporting the management and employees as a stable owner by investing in and supporting the growth and development of the company. Our strong industry expertise, gained through other investments and strengthened by senior industry experts, will contribute in taking the company to the next level.” said Peder Prahl, Director of the General Partner for the Triton funds.


About Triton
The Triton funds invest in and support the positive development of medium-sized businesses headquartered in Europe, focusing on businesses in the Industrial, Business Services and Consumer/Health sectors.

Triton seeks to contribute to the building of better businesses for the longer term. Triton and its executives wish to be agents of positive change towards sustainable operational improvements and growth. The 37 companies currently in Triton’s portfolio have combined sales of around € 12.9 billion and around 83,000 employees.

The Triton funds are advised by dedicated teams of professionals based in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Luxembourg and Jersey.

For more information please visit: www.triton-partners.com

About Sunweb Group
Sunweb Group is one of the leading travel groups in Europe with more than EUR 600m in turnover. It is the driving force behind numerous brands operating within seven international markets: The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany and France. Sunweb is the flagship brand of the group.

Sunweb is a pure online player for packaged holidays towards sun and winter sport destinations.

Sunweb Group employs approximately 500 individuals and sends more than 400 representatives on to various holiday destinations to support its customers. The Sunweb Group has a pan-European identity with its tour operator activities based in Zurich, headquarters and back-office in Rotterdam, software and web development in Girona and various sales offices around Europe. The combination of a centralized organization, unique self-contracted content and strong online business model has resulted in over one million happy clients for Sunweb Group each year.

For more information please visit: www.sunwebgroup.com/

Categories: News


3i to receive £77m in proceeds from refinancing of Aspen Pumps and distribution from Audley Travel


3i-backed Aspen Pumps (“Aspen”) and Audley Travel (“Audley”) to return in aggregate £77m in cash to 3i Group plc (“3i Group”).

Aspen, the global leader in condensate pumps for air conditioning and refrigeration systems, has successfully completed a refinancing following the completion of the acquisition of Advanced Engineering, Aspen’s 5th bolt-on under 3i ownership.

3i Group plc will receive £52m from the transaction, representing more than 0.8x its original equity investment. This has been enabled by the significant growth and cash generation in the business, with revenues more than doubling since 3i’s investment in 2015. The refinancing ensures Aspen is well positioned to continue investing to further accelerate growth and deliver on its ambitious plans, both organically and through acquisitions, where it has a strong pipeline.

Audley, a leading provider of tailor-made experiential travel, has completed a £30m shareholder distribution funded by cash on balance sheet. 3i Group plc proceeds from this distribution are £25m. 3i invested in Audley in 2015 to build on its market-leading UK presence and support international growth, particularly in the US, where Audley has seen a 4x increase in bookings over the last 3 years.

Alan Giddins, Managing Partner and Head of Private Equity, commented:

“Aspen and Audley are both outstanding UK businesses, with leading market positions. Both companies have demonstrated strong organic earnings growth and cash conversion since our investments, which has enabled them to return cash to shareholders.



Download this press release   


For further information, contact: 

3i Group plc

Silvia Santoro

Shareholder enquiries

Tel: +44 20 7975 3258

Email: silvia.santoro@3i.com

Kathryn van der Kroft

Media enquiries

Tel: +44 20 7975 3021

Email: kathryn.vanderkroft@3i.com



Notes to editors:

About 3i Group

3i is a leading international investment manager focused on mid-market Private Equity and Infrastructure. Its core investment markets are northern Europe and North America. For further information, please visit: www.3i.com

About Aspen Pumps

Aspen Pumps is the global leader in the design, manufacture and assembly of condensate pumps focused on the air conditioning and refrigeration (“ACR”) sectors and is renowned for having the most reliable, installer friendly and innovative products. It also provides a range of market leading tools, rooftop mounting systems and accessories for ACR installers. For further information, please visit: https://www.aspenpumps.com

About Audley Travel

Audley is a leading provider of tailor-made experiential travel to over 80 destinations worldwide. Serving clients predominantly in the UK and US, Audley is renowned for its superior customer service and in-depth destination expertise delivered by its country specialists. For more information, please visit www.audleytravel.com

Categories: News


La Caisse invests CA$200 million in Québec technology company Plusgrade

TA associates

MONTRÉAL, Nov. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec announced that it is taking an equity interest totalling $200 million in Plusgrade, a leading provider of revenue solutions to the global travel industry. The transaction values Plusgrade at over CA$600 million.

With this backing, the company will continue to execute its expansion plan, which includes penetrating new international markets and expanding its suite of products. Since its founding in Montréal in 2009, Plusgrade has become one of the fastest growing technology companies, and was ranked in Deloitte’s Canadian Technology Fast 50 list in 2016 and 2017. Recently, it also received the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Leadership award, which recognizes the innovation and leadership of companies at the forefront of the Canadian technology sector.

Led by a solid management team, Plusgrade is rapidly expanding its team across its Montréal headquarters and its New York and Singapore offices.

Over 70 travel companies worldwide, including Air Canada, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, trust Plusgrade to deliver key revenue streams via software solutions for optimizing their seat inventory. Its signature product provides travellers with an opportunity to bid on upgrades to a superior class of service.

“Plusgrade has a unique and innovative business model that is revolutionizing practices in its industry. Meeting an airline industry need, their products have been quickly marketed around the world in the last few years,” stated Mathieu Gauvin, Senior Vice-President, Québec, at la Caisse. “This investment is aligned with our strategy of supporting the growth of Québec companies that prioritize innovation to drive their international development.”

In the context of this transaction, la Caisse acquired a portion of the shares held by TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm that will continue to be a major shareholder, alongside the management team and other investors.

“We are very excited to welcome la Caisse as our new institutional investment partner as we accelerate our growth into new markets and verticals,” said Ken Harris, Founder and CEO, Plusgrade. “The confidence that la Caisse and TA Associates have shown in Plusgrade is a testament to the value that our talented team is delivering across our global footprint of travel suppliers. We look forward to la Caisse joining our Board and providing valuable guidance as we pursue our strategic growth initiatives.”

Morgan Stanley Canada Limited served as financial advisor and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP served as legal counsel to Plusgrade. Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP served as legal counsel to la Caisse.

Plusgrade is an award-winning technology company at the forefront of ancillary revenue and merchandising in the global travel industry. As the market-leading provider in its category of upsell solutions, Plusgrade is generating billions of dollars of new revenue opportunity and powering leading travel suppliers in more than 50 countries. Plusgrade is headquartered in Montréal with offices in New York and Singapore. For more information, please visit www.plusgrade.com.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (la Caisse) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at June 30, 2018, it held CA$308.3 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, la Caisse invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. For more information, visit cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

Now in its 50th year, TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced global growth private equity firms. Focused on five target industries – technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer and business services – TA invests in profitable, growing companies with opportunities for sustained growth, and has invested in nearly 500 companies around the world. Investing as either a majority or minority investor, TA employs a long-term approach, utilizing its strategic resources to help management teams build lasting value in growth companies. TA has raised $24 billion in capital since its founding in 1968 and is committing to new investments at the pace of $1.5 to $2 billion per year. The firm’s more than 85 investment professionals are based in BostonMenlo ParkLondonMumbai and Hong Kong. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.

SOURCE Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Related Links


Categories: News


Vacation Rental Management Platform Hostaway Raises €1.25 million


Hostaway has successfully gained a major foothold in the rapidly growing vacation rentals market, alongside its partners – Booking.com, AirBnb, and Expedia to name a few – who are streamlining the entire industry. Hostaway enables short-term property managers through an integrated SaaS system that has the ability to manage operations and increase their revenues, by integrating into all major channels (Airbnb, Booking.com, HomeAway, and more).

“Our customers are professionals whose traditional business models have been to rent out dozens of homes worldwide. Today, it is no longer enough to manage your properties on the one sales channel and everybody’s business model is to be present everywhere, all the time. Which is exactly what Hostaway offers,” says Marcus Räder, the CEO and co-founder at Hostaway.

Since its launch in 2015, Hostaway has grown to a global team of 30 members in Barcelona, Toronto, Helsinki, Melbourne, and Kiev. The team itself is made up of nearly 20 nationalities, a focus on gender equality, all the while speaking over 10 languages. Hostaway is currently looking for talent for their Sales, Customer Success, Engineering, and Marketing teams across Toronto, Barcelona and Helsinki, hoping to double their team by Jan 2019.

“Our focus on diversity and global culture as key values, is ultimately what has helped us achieve the success we have today,” says co-founder Mikko Nurminen. Elaborating on Hostaway’s culture he says “From the very beginning, we have made diversity, culture, and internationalism the core values to drive our business model. We were able to create high-functioning communication processes, cover all time zones to match our customers’ needs, and find the most talented people from all around the world.” In September 2018, Hostaway took all 30 of its team members to Barcelona for a 7-day company meetup.

The short-term rentals market continues to see rapid and steady growth, with a projected market valuation of $190 billion by 2021. Hostaway has their gears set on becoming the industry’s largest player.

Backed by one of Finland’s leading venture capital firms in the B2B software space, Vendep saw the value and potential in the Hostaway team, immediately deciding to get involved in their rapid growth and development.

“We were very impressed by Hostaway’s quick growth during the course of this year,” says Hannu Kytölä from Vendep Capital. “This success was achieved by building a seasoned team delivering world-class customer service on an easy-to-use channel management platform, which delivered what it promised: hassle-free growth for its customers.Vendep Capital is excited to back the Hostaway team on their journey to success and growth ahead.”

Since September 2018, Hostaway has been growing out of the top incubator in North America, the DMZ.

“DMZ has been a massive help for us. Their mentorship and network makes it easier for us to attract talent and accelerate our growth. The Toronto tech scene is booming and we’re right at the crux of this momentum with the rest of the big tech-leagues,” says Marcus Räder.

Hostaway has collected a total of EUR 2.4 million in funding from investors and Business Finland and has several successful Finnish serial entrepreneurs.

For additional information:

Marcus Räder, co-founder, CEO
+1 416 821 3601
Mikko Nurminen, co-founder
+358 40 701 3135

Team photo and management team Saber Kordestanchi, Mikko Nurminen, Alexandra Logushova, Robert Hoogendam ja Marcus Räder

Hostaway is an enterprise solution for managing short-term rentals. Hostaway offers all the tools a property manager needs to grow their business, reach the largest sales channels, delegate tasks, and optimize their performance in one place. For more information, visit www.hostaway.com

Vendep Capital Fund II invests mainly in Finnish startups offering software to B2B customers. Founded in April 2017, the target size of the fund is €40 million. The funds have been raised from Finnish private and institutional investors such as Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) and The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. The fund may make investments alone or as part of a syndicate. www.vendep.com

Categories: News