The Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) has strengthened its corporate travel footprint on Continental Europe.
The company, which recently acquired corporate businesses in Germany, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, today announced that it had agreed to acquire a minority interest in 3Mundi, a travel and technology company with operations in France, Switzerland and Spain.
FLT will initially invest in a 25% interest in the Paris-based business, with additional put and call agreements in place to allow FLT to potentially increase its holding to 100% in the future. 3Mundi was established in 2006 by Jordy Staelen and Simon Renaud and has been the licensee in France and Switzerland for FLT's global corporate travel management network, FCM, since 2015.
FLT managing director Graham Turner said the investment in 3Mundi would strengthen the company's global corporate network and would give FLT a platform for further expansion in large and rapidly growing markets. "France and Switzerland are important corporate travel hubs for our existing customers and for new multi-national accounts that we are targeting globally," he said.
This investment will deliver immediate benefits by:
- Strengthening our European presence, which now includes businesses in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France and Switzerland; and
- Delivering new technology, products and tools that can be adapted and rolled out in other geographies and brands within our global network
"There is also opportunity to work with 3Mundi's team to develop other new products and offerings in the future."
In addition to its corporate travel businesses in France and Switzerland, 3Mundi operates a Barcelona-based business travel lab, which is successfully developing proprietary artificial intelligence technology and products for the travel industry. 3Mundi is expected to turnover in the order of Euro100million during its 2017 financial year. The acquisition is expected to be formally completed in July 2017.
Today's agreement is the latest in a number of technology and e-commerce enhancements that FLT has announced recently. In March, the company announced it had formed a Digital Advisory Board to provide strategic advice on its digital commerce capabilities and transformation plans. Accomplished travel professionals Nicolas Brusson, CEO of the leading French technology company BlablaCar, and Boston-based travel tech investor and entrepreneur Hugh Crean have been confirmed as advisory board members, along with FLT’s chief digital officer (CDO), Atle Skalleberg.
Last month, FLT also announced that it had acquired a 24.1% interest in Bibam, an Argentina-based travel and technology group with a strong presence in the on and offline leisure, corporate and wholesale sectors. Bibam (Biblos América), Argentina's second largest travel group, owns and operates the Biblos brand and fast growing e-commerce player Avantrip.com. The deal will give FLT enhanced digital commerce capabilities through access to Bibam’s scalable e-commerce platforms and software development teams.