MinterEllison advises Helloworld on $70 million acquisition

MinterEllison has advised Helloworld on its 100% acquisition of Express Travel Group in Australia and New Zealand for A$70 million. This acquisition follows Helloworld’s recent acquisition of a 40% stake in Adelaide travel agency Phil Hoffmann Travel and the acquisition of Australiareiser.

The acquisition is for consideration comprising a mix of Helloworld shares and cash, with the cash component being fully funded from Helloworld’s existing cash reserves.

Helloworld is a vertically integrated travel company encompassing travel distribution, retail leisure, business travel networks, travel broker networks, destination management services, air ticket consolidation, tourism transport operations, wholesale travel services, online operations, and event-based freight operations. With a dedicated workforce of over 600 employees across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Greece and a vast network of over 2,000 members in its travel agency network in Australia and New Zealand, Helloworld continues to expand its reach and offerings in the industry.

Express Travel Group operates an air ticket consolidation business, retail travel networks, cruise and travel package wholesaling in Australia and New Zealand. Express Travel Group employs over 100 people and boasts a stable of brands including Express Tickets, Independent Travel Group, Select Travel Group, Alatus, italk travel & cruise, Creative Cruising (Australia and New Zealand), First Travel Group, YOU Travel and Lifestyle Holidays in New Zealand.
Helloworld’s acquisition of Express Travel Group is a strategic play which will result in the increase of its scale and capacity with a view to delivering greater stakeholder opportunities and value.

Leading the team at MinterEllison is partner and M&A expert Bart Oude-Vrielink. Bart and the multi-disciplinary team advised on all aspects of the acquisition, including contract drafting, negotiating transaction documents, preparing governance and shareholder approval documents, liaising with the ASX and ASIC and legal due diligence.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts advised on the legal due diligence on Express Travel Group’s New Zealand operations.

“We are thrilled to have advised Helloworld on this recent acquisition which will further strengthen its market-leading travel business,” commented Bart Oude-Vrielink. “It has been a pleasure collaborating with the Helloworld team again and contributing to their growth strategy.”

“Our M&A team, together with our other legal experts within the firm, has delivered a successful outcome for Helloworld.”

The acquisition is expected to settle in early August 2023, subject to shareholder approval at an Extraordinary General Meeting of Helloworld, scheduled for 26 July 2023.

Bart and the team will continue to advise Helloworld throughout the completion and post-completion stages of the acquisition.

/Public Release.