November 13, 2009
Web Reservations International, global market leader in online hostel and budget accommodation, today announced its acquisition by affiliates of private equity investment firm, Hellman and Friedman LLC. Through its flagship brand, Hostelworld.com, 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. Hostelworld.com, a trusted and recognised consumer brand, has sold over 70 million beds and processed over 15 million customer bookings since inception, with customers posting over 2.7 million reviews of accommodation booked through the site.
Announcing the acquisition WRI CEO Feargal Mooney said:
"We are delighted to be partnering with Hellman & Friedman who were identified by our board as the right partner for WRI to support and accelerate our next phase of growth. This business has been built by the vision of our founders together with the collective talents of a highly driven team at WRI. We have an ambitious agenda for growth and further innovation. 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."
Stephen Duckett, Managing Director of Hellman & Friedman LLP, said:
"Hellman & Friedman's investment experience in the digital media and software sectors have given us good insight into the evolution of online businesses. 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."
WRI sold €350 million worth of accommodation in 2008, generating net revenues of €38million. 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 and employs 93 people and has offices in Shanghai and Sydney.
WRI was advised on the transaction by Maples and Calder, Dublin and Morgan Stanley, New York. Hellman and Friedman were advised by Freshfields, Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Goldman Sachs, London.
For further information contact:
For Web Reservations International:
Billy Murphy/ Anne-Marie Curran, Drury
Tel: +353 87 2313085 / 00353 87 2864079
Billy.Murphy@drury.ie / Annemarie.Curran@drury.ie
For Hellman & Friedman LLC:
Hugh Morrison/Caroline Villiers, M:Communications
Steve Bruce/Pen Pendleton/Monica Everett, The Abernathy MacGregor Group
SB@abmac.com / PWP@abmac.com / MCE@abmac.com
About Web Reservations International
WRI provides technology, distribution and marketing solutions to accommodation and other travel suppliers worldwide through a network of owned sites and affiliate partners. Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, WRI was founded in 1999 and has representative offices in Shanghai and Sydney. WRI has developed award winning websites including hostelworld.com, hostels.com, bedandbreakfastworld.com, boo.com and trav.com, and has successful affiliate relationships with many of the world's leading brands. The WRI business model is simple and fully automated where travellers pay a modest non refundable deposit when they book accommodation on line which is retained by WRI. The balance is paid by customers directly to the accommodation provider at check-in. Hostels and other accommodation providers rely on WRI's advanced technology platform to allocate inventory, manage pricing and receive bookings within a fully automated process.
About Hellman & Friedman
Founded in San Francisco in 1984, Hellman & Friedman has raised over $25 billion of committed capital and invested in over 60 companies across three principal offices in London, New York and San Francisco. H&F is currently investing its sixth fund, with $8.4 billion of committed capital. H&F focuses on investing in superior business franchises and serving as a value added partner to management in select industries including internet/ digital media, financial services, professional services, software and healthcare. Representative investments in the digital media sector include Doubleclick, Getty Images, and Digitas.