On Friday, Bravofly, a Swiss search engine for low-cost air and hotel bookings, said that it would buy Spanish OTA Rumbo in a deal is worth approximately €74 million ($95 million).
Axa Private Equity announced a €20 million euro ($25.6 million) capital increase in Bravofly, with the purpose of helping to fund Bravofly's acquisition.
Small deal? Not really, when you look closer.
Bravofly had €250 million in turnover 2011 and aspires to reach €350 million in turnover this year. Combined annual revenue could reach €1 billion a year, according to a press release.
Bravofly says it has 4.5 million customers. Rumbo says it has about 2 million registered customers in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Until 2008, Rumbo was co-owned by Amadeus, the Madrid-based GDS, and Telefónica SA, Spain’s largest telecom, which is now selling its 50% stake in Rumbo as part of its effort to trim its debt.
Amadeus sold its stake to Spanish travel group Orizonia, which is now selling that stake to Bravofly.
Let's not forget that, in 2011, Amadeus also sold Opodo in 2011 to the same Axa (along with the private equity fund Permira), in order to merge Opodo with eDreams, a Barcelona-based flight search engine, and Go Voyages, France's top OTA, into the online travel group Odigeo.
In 2011, Odigeo announced took in around of €3.9 billion worth of bookings, mainly from having strong positions in France and Spain for flight and hotel bookings.
Industrywide, we should expect further consolidation.
The biggest groups will likely gobble up the few last independent OTAs in Northern Europe and in Russia.