Investment house Rockaway Capital has big plans for a "pan-European online travel agency leader" after buying the assets of Unister Travel.
Unister filed into voluntary insolvency in July this year just days after the death of its CEO Thomas Wagner and co-founder Oliver Schilling in a plane crash in Italy.
It emerged during a subsequent investigation that Wagner had allegedly been the subject of a €1.5 million scam before his fatal flight (read the full story here).
Unister owned a large range of online travel companies such as Fluege and Ab-In-Den-Urlaub, which together processed somewhere in the region Euro 1.9 billion in travel transactions during 2015.
The group had essentially been up for sale since November 2015.
Rockaway says it has signed an agreement with German administrators to acquire the assets of Unister for an undisclosed fee, including those listed above and Reisen, Billigfluege, Reisegeier, Urlaubstours, Hotelreservierung and TravelViva.
The group bought into travel earlier this year when it acquired Invia, an online travel agency in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.
The deal has been cut financially with the help of CEFC (China Energy Company), the seventh largest private company in China and a strategic investor in western brands.
Rockaway says the full roster of around 520 staffers at Unister (who have maintained operations of the brands during the insolvency process) will remain in-post as part of the acquisition.
The development is being touted as as Rockaway's opportunity to bring a range of brands together, "support a new beginning" and "take the platforms to the next level".
Insolvency administrator Lucas Flöther says:
"Given its expertise in the travel sector, operational and financial strength, I consider Rockaway an ideal partner and I am confident that the new owner will unlock the acquired assets' potential."
The deal is expected to close in early-2017.
Marcela Hrdá, executive vice-president of CEFC Europe, says:
"Through these companies, we also want to use the potential presented by growth in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Europe.
"We also plan to use the synergies and opportunities that our investment will provide in the areas of the travel industry, air transport and the hotel industry."