Global travel M&A surpasses pre-pandemic levels, 423 deals in the last year

 by Arvindh Yuvaraj

Cambon Partners and VIDEC unveil travel industry’s first-ever mergers and acquisitions tracker

Cambon Partners, a Paris-based investment banking firm specialising in mergers, acquisitions, and corporate financing, has collaborated with VIDEC, a Mumbai-based boutique research, consulting, and M&A advisory company with a focus on the global travel, tourism, and hospitality industry, to gather and release insights on M&A activity across the global travel landscape.

The newly released Travel M&A Database, covering the period from 2014 to 3Q23, has revealed a significant uptick in M&A activity, with 423 deals occurring between 2022 and 3Q23, surpassing the pre-pandemic levels of 389 deals from 2018 to 3Q19.

Click to enlarge image

Key Insights:

  • Geographical Hotspots: Europe and North America emerge as the primary hotspots, jointly accounting for 80% of the total M&A activity during the decade-long period.
  • Valuation and Deal Value: Of the 1,758 travel companies sold, valuations were available for 382 deals, reaching an impressive total value of US$212 billion.
  • Post-Pandemic Rebound: The post-pandemic era has witnessed a surge in M&A activity, with 423 companies changing hands since 2022, reflecting a robust recovery compared to the 389 deals in the pre-pandemic period of 2018 to 3Q19.

Click to enlarge image

Morgann Lesné, Travel Lead & Partner at Cambon Partners, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “The insights from the database suggest Europe to be the most active region for M&A in travel, with 212 deals (2022–3Q23) as compared to 154 deals pre-pandemic (2018–3Q19).” 

“Among categories, hospitality is the most trending category with 149 deals compared with 125 deals in the pre-pandemic period,” Lesné continued. “Technology has taken the center stage with deals for software and SAAS providers growing to 107 deals against 65.”

Virendra Jain, CEO and Co-founder of VIDEC, highlighted certain shifts post-pandemic, stating, “While it was all about top-line and exponential growth, significant sanity has prevailed post-pandemic with an impetus on profitability and sustainability. The B2B category is a natural beneficiary of this trend with 151 deals rising to 219 deals post-pandemic.”

Jain further explained, “Along similar lines, corporate travel has emerged as the flavor of the season with the number of deals doubling to 25 post-pandemic.”

Click to enlarge image

Click to enlarge image

The report coincides with a surge in notable deals as reported by Phocuswire, including the acquisition of buy now, pay later firm Uplift by payment products company Upgrade for $100 million and Capital One’s acquisition of digital concierge company Velocity Black. Noteworthy deals in the hospitality space include Hyatt’s acquisition of boutique hotel platform Mr & Mrs Smith and HomeExchange’s strategic acquisitions.

Also reported by Phocuswire, in the corporate travel arena, Wego’s acquisition of Travelstop, Tripbam’s acquisition by Emburse, and Travelport’s acquisition of Deem underscore the robustness of the travel industry’s M&A landscape.

As for the Asian region, reported M&A activity isn’t as glitzy as some of its Western counterparts, but there’s plenty of notable movement to suggest a recovering industry:

  • Total deals in APAC, 2014-3Q23 – 255
  • Total deal value for 255 disclosed deals, 2014-3Q23 – $16.4B
  • Total disclosed deals, 2022-3Q23 – 52
  • Total disclosed deals, 2018-3Q19 – 68
  • Deal value of 52 disclosed deals, 2022-3Q23 – $4.5 billion
  • Deal value of 68 disclosed deals, 2018-3Q19 – $3.3 billion

Top disclosed deals in APAC, 2022-3Q23

Target CompanyBidder CompanyDeal YearDeal Value
Business Category
Air IndiaTata Sons20222,400Air
Australian Venue CoPAG2023906Food and Beverages
IGT SolutionsBaring Private Equity Asia2022810Technology
Nine Tree HotelCity Developments2023107Hospitality
RezdyCheckfront and Regiondo2023100Tours and Packages

Top disclosed deals in APAC, 2018-3Q19

Target CompanyBidder CompanyDeal YearDeal Value
Business Category
Meituan Bike (Mobike)Meituan20182,700Ground Transportation
Six Senses
Hotels Resorts
Hotels Group
Wet’n’Wild SydneyParques Reunidos201830Activities

Further highlights from the Travel M&A Database will be published periodically, and full access to the dataset will be made available through a dedicated portal.

Read original story on Web in Travel.