Published: 09:00, 13 August 2014
Over 50s holiday and insurance firm Saga has bought a majority stake in an online travel company specialising in four and five star holidays to the UAE, Far East, Indian Ocean and Europe.
The Folkestone-based company, which listed on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year, has an option to acquire the remaining shareholding of Destinology at a later date.
The deal has been funded using existing cash resources in Saga’s travel business.
Privately-owned Destinology was founded in 2004 and served 30,000 holidaymakers last year.
It employs 110 staff at its Bolton head office. Key senior management will remain with the business.
“Destinology is one of the UK’s leading travel businesses with strong expertise in online sales and marketing and award winning service so we are very pleased to have brought the business into the group..." - Saga's Lance Batchelor
Saga chief executive Lance Batchelor said: “Destinology is one of the UK’s leading travel businesses with strong expertise in online sales and marketing and award winning service so we are very pleased to have brought the business into the group.
“It is an excellent fit with our existing travel brands – Saga Holidays, Saga Cruises and Titan Travel – particularly in relation to the demographic it serves, and will enhance our range of travel offers to customers.”
Saga’s last full-year results revealed the company has revenues of £1.1bn, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation at £222.4m.
Its travel division employs about 1,200 people at four offices in Folkestone and two others in Ramsgate and Hastings, selling about 194,000 holidays a year.
Saga shares fell slightly from 183p to 182.5p in early trading, following the announcement.
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