Web Reservations International, an Irish online accommodation booking player responsible for up to €350 million worth of accommodation and with revenues of €38 million, has been acquired by affiliates of private equity investment firm Hellman & Friedman LLC.
Through its flagship brand, Hostelworld.com, Web Reservations International (WRI) has, over the course of its 10 years, revolutionised online travel through its simple business model, creating a global internet success.
WRI’s award-winning property-management solutions are used by more than 23,000 accommodation providers in 180 countries.
Amount of sales
Hostelworld.com, a trusted and recognised consumer brand, has sold more than 70 million beds and processed more than 15 million customer bookings since inception, with customers posting more than 2.7 million reviews of accommodations booked through the site.
WRI sold €350 million worth of accommodation in 2008, generating net revenues of €38 million.
Its websites include www.hostelworld.com, www.hostels.com, www.boo.com, www.bedandbreakfastworld.com and www.trav.com.
WRI is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, employs 93 people and has offices in Shanghai, China, and Sydney, Australia.
“This business has been built by the vision of our founders together with the collective talents of a highly driven team at WRI,” said Fergal Mooney, CEO of WRI.
“We have an ambitious agenda for growth and further innovation,” Mooney continued. “Hellman & Friedman’s experience in media and marketing services, as well as the technology sector, will provide valued support and resources to accelerate that growth and capitalise on strategic business opportunities of which we are uniquely positioned to take advantage.”
WRI was advised on the transaction by Maples and Calder, Dublin, and Morgan Stanley, New York. Hellman & Friedman were advised by Freshfields, Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Goldman Sachs, London.
“Hellman & Friedman’s investment experience in the digital-media and software sectors have given us good insight into the evolution of online businesses,” said Stephen Duckett, managing director of Hellman & Friedman LLC.
“WRI has built a strong and distinctive franchise in the online travel market and we look forward to working with the team at WRI to build on this platform in the years ahead.”
By John Kennedy