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Gulf Capital unit acquires Bico Trip

ABU DHABI, December 7, 2015

Gulf Capital, a leading alternative investment firm in the Middle East, announced that its portfolio company, Destinations of the World (DoTW) has acquired 100 per cent of Bico Trip, a major player in the Asian accommodation wholesale market.

With this third portfolio bolt-on acquisition in Asia Pacific, Gulf Capital drives ahead with creating home-grown global companies in various industries, including oil and gas services, water and desalination, power and, with this latest acquisition, the wholesale travel market.

DOTW is a leading global wholesale travel company established in Dubai in 1993. It has grown into one of the world’s largest accommodation wholesalers, operating an exclusively B2B distribution model in one of the fastest growing segments of the global travel industry. The company secures access to hotel room inventory in different travel destinations and sells hotel room bookings to its multi-regional distribution network of travel agents, online travel agents, airlines and tour operators. The company has established a solid leadership position across Mena, enjoying a 95 per cent penetration of the region’s travel retailer agency market. The latest acquisition gives it a strong foothold in the Asian market.

Established in 1997 as an inbound travel agency in Japan offering travel solutions to South Koreans travelling to Japan, Bico Trip has since grown to become a leading player in the Asian accommodation wholesale market expanding its reach into China, Hong Kong, Taiwan in addition to Japan and South Korea.

The combined DOTW and Bico Trip businesses will offer customers access to over 150,000 hotel properties worldwide, with more than 37,000 properties contracted directly. Existing hotel and accommodation partners will benefit from a significant increase in scale and diversity of distribution, covering the industry’s highest growth markets. With a strategic focus on expansion in Asia Pacific, the combined businesses will benefit from a large regional footprint and offices in nine countries. This will further facilitate the delivery of a fully localised service for both customers and suppliers across emerging and growth markets.

Dr. Karim El Solh, chief executive officer of Gulf Capital said: "This acquisition represents a landmark deal for Gulf Capital and DOTW. This is our third portfolio bolt-on acquisition in Asia Pacific, demonstrating Gulf Capital’s ability to build global companies out of the Gulf region. The combined DOTW and Bico Trip businesses create a global leader in the wholesale travel market with a wide footprint from the Middle East and Europe all the way to Asia Pacific. We look forward to replicating such transformational acquisitions across our investment portfolio to create even more global market leaders originating from the Gulf region."

Keith Fernandez, founder and chairman of DOTW: “These are exciting times for DOTW, and I am very happy to be joining forces with another veteran player in the industry. The Bico Trip team has built a strong business in Asia-Pacific that is not easily replicable. I look forward to a great partnership with Bico Trip.” – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Gulf Capital | Seoul | DOTW |

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