Youtravel to sell 85% share to German tour operator

Youtravel to sell 85% share to German tour operator

Agents will gain access to a wealth of new exclusive product following the acquisition of a majority share in Youtravel.com by a leading German tour operator, Travel Weekly understands.

FTI Touristik is poised to acquire 85% of the business in a deal believed to be worth an eight-figure sum, which is expected to be approved by the German Federal Cartel Office within the next week.

It includes the Youtravel and trade-facing Youhotels brands, but Aquis Hotels & Resorts will continue to be fully owned by chief executive John Kent and family.

Kent will retain the remaining 15% of Youtravel.

As a result of the agreement, the sales and product departments will be centralised and the accommodation-only provider will have access to FTI’s exclusive hotel product. The deal is not expected to result in any redundancies and the London and Athens offices will remain open.

The FTI Group is the fourth-largest tour operator in Germany and employs about 1,500 staff.

It also emerged this week that the accommodation-only supplier is renegotiating with hoteliers in most of its destinations over its outstanding debts from last summer.

According to documents seen by Travel Weekly, the company is asking suppliers in destinations including Spain, Portugal and Malta for a 30% discount on its remaining debts.

An agreement with a Portuguese hotelier reads: “The hotel grants Youtravel a 30% discount in the outstanding balance. After the bank transfer with the above written amount confirmed, Youtravel’s debt will be paid off.”

In March, Youtravel managing director Matt Cheevers left the business and was not replaced.

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