Wirtualna Polska buys Szallas Group based in Hungary, including the hotel platform Travelminit.ro
The transaction represents one of the largest acquisitions in the field of tourism in the Central and Eastern Europe region
Wirtualna Polska Holding, one of the main e-commerce and media companies in Poland, listed on the stock exchange and headquartered in Warsaw, announces the acquisition of Szallas Group – which in Romania operates the Travelminit.ro platform – from the company’s majority shareholder, PortfoLion Capital Partners and from several private individuals, including the founders of Travelminit.ro. The transaction is valued at 72 million euros, plus the company’s net cash, which is estimated at 10 million euros at the date of the transaction, bringing the total value of the acquisition to 82 million euros.
Wirtualna Polska Holding S.A. is a group of companies listed on the Polish stock exchange, a shareholder of several large e-commerce and media portals, active on the Polish and Central Eastern European market. In terms of tourism services, so far Wirtualna Polska has focused on Poland, but with this acquisition, more countries and platforms from countries such as Romania, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Hungary are added to the group’s portfolio, tripling the size of the market it addresses.
Wirtualna Polska bought shares from PortfoLion, as well as from the founders of the platforms operated by Szallas.hu in Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, Poland and Croatia, Pavel Kotas, Ferenc Rigó, László Buzogány, Tomáš Pětivoký and Milan Petr.Rigó and Buzogány are the founders of the Travelminit.ro platform, one of the largest and fastest growing hotel booking platforms in Romania, which in turn is part of the acquired group – Szallas.
“The acquisition of the Szallas group is our first external investment and a revolutionary moment in the history of the Wirtualna Polska Holding group”,declares Jacek Świderski, CEO of Wirtualna Polska Holding S.A. “We are very impressed with the skills of József and his team, as they have shown how to run a successful business in competition with global platforms. We also believe there is potential behind the tourism industry as a whole. This was confirmed by the financial performance of our tourism product, Nocowanie.pl, which brought unprecedented revenue in its history in Q2 2022,” added Jacek Świderski, CEO of Wirtualna Polska Holding S.A.
Tourists and hoteliers in Romania will also benefit from the multiplication of opportunities that Travelminit will have as a result of the business. Travelminit is dedicated exclusively to the Romanian market, having more than 7,500 accommodations and registering a 104% increase in sales this year (compared to 2019 before the pandemic). “Our long-term goal is to turn the Travelminit.ro platform into the No. 1 player on the hotel booking market in Romania, offering a pleasant booking experience and the widest local range at the lowest price. As a short-term goal, we plan to provide users in Romania with access to the Szallas group’s regional range of accommodation, to be able to offer thermal baths in Hungary, city breaks in the Czech Republic and seaside holidays in Croatia. We believe that our growth will accelerate even more with Wirtualna Polska Holding in our support.” said Ferenc Rigó and László Buzogány, founders of Travelminit.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the autumn, following the completion of the Hungarian authorization processes.