Villas for Travel is set to enjoy a significant boost in sales through agents after Vertical Group bought a controlling stake in the operator.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will allow Vertical Group’s brands, including accommodation-only specialists bedbank.com and bedbankski.com, high-street travel agency Miss Ellies Travel and homeworking company Holiday Experts, to sell Villas for Travel’s 1,000-plus properties worldwide.
The villa specialist sells about 75% of its product direct to consumers with the remaining through agents.
Travel technology specialist Vertical group, which also owns TARSC, bought the trading assets of Holiday Experts in July. Chief executive Peter Healey said: “This deal enables us to provide the villa product that our customers were requesting and differentiate our accommodation service to the travel trade.”
Bedbank.com sales manager Catalina Vera Pile said the bed bank had been looking for high-quality villa accommodation for some time to sell to agents and customers.
Villas for Travel managing director and founder Kathryn Bullock said: “This deal is exciting and will help to boost our trade business and gives Vertical a consumer brand.”
She will stay with the company for several months to help with the integration of the business and technology. Bullock set up the company in 2006 with venture capital from the Trapezia fund, set up by Stargate Capital, which will continue to be shareholders. “I will help integrate the business, but I am ready for a change,” she admitted.
She said talks were ongoing on whether the business would be moving from south London to Vertical Group’s Essex base. She remained tight-lighted on the future for the company’s staff, but said there were a small number of employees. Most sales are made online.
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