Solmar Villas acquired by Kuoni parent Der Touristik

Solmar Villas has been acquired by Kuoni parent Der Touristik UK as it looks to expand its portfolio of specialist businesses.

The family-run business, founded almost 30 years ago by John and Maria Tayler, joins Der Touristik UK’s range of specialist brands. As well as Kuoni, these include Carrier, CV Villas, Kirker, Jules Verne and Journey Latin America, its last acquisition.

As a result of the deal the operator will be sold through Kuoni’s 27 stores, and will continue to work with independent travel agencies nationwide.

Der Touristik said it aimed to turn Solmar Villas into the market leader in the villas market and called the acquisition “a good fit” for its business, sitting well alongside its existing upmarket villa specialist CV Villas, which is particularly strong in Greece.

Solmar’s product has a broader range of price points and is strong in western Mediterranean destinations such as Spain and Portugal. The businesses will be run separately.

In total, Solmar has more than 1,600 private villas with pools, 1,000 of which are exclusive, in destinations including Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, France, Turkey, Italy, Croatia, and the US.

Der Touristik UK chief executive Francis Torrilla said: “Solmar Villas has seen phenomenal success with a real drive for growth and quality.

“The acquisition enhances and complements our existing portfolio of independently managed businesses enabling us to drive substantial growth in the villa market.

“It also means we’ve got a broader range of price-points across our specialist brands so we’re relevant to more customers whilst always focusing on value and quality. We can bring investment opportunities to continue to grow Solmar Villas into the market leader villa provider and further develop its range and distribution.”

Solmar is already a strong supporter of travel agents and has partnerships in the trade with Jet2Holidays, British Airways and Hays Travel.

Julie Blake, the current owner and daughter of John and Maria Tayler, will remain managing director and report into Torrilla at Der Touristik.

The business will stay at its current Burton-upon-Trent location and staff have been told there are plans to grow the company, and expand its workforce.

Torrilla added: “I am delighted Solmar has agreed to join our collection of independent businesses.

“We have a positive message to share with our staff, suppliers, travel agents and customers in that we will protect the business ethos and values which have made it so successful and also invest in Solmar with the ambition to grow it into the largest villa operator out of the UK.

“I look forward to working with Julie as we expand the business and grow our offering in both the UK and overseas.”

Blake said: “The success of Solmar Villas has been driven by a team with a united aim of providing high quality villas combined with excellent customer service.

“Our strength is the relationships we have with our villa owners, suppliers, employees and clients and this will continue to be the driving motivation behind us.

“I am very proud of the business my family started and I’m equally thrilled to work with Francis and the wider team at Der Touristik to drive awareness and growth of this amazing brand. We have some ambitious plans and, with the support of the group, I am excited to be part of Solmar’s next steps.”

Der Touristik said it continued to be open to further acquisitions if the opportunity was right.

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