Webjet Acquires NZ-based Online Republic

Australian travel booking company, Webjet, is set to acquire New Zealand travel group Online Republic for NZ$85 million ($80 million).

Founded in 2004, Online Republic is a global travel group focused on vehicle rental and cruise booking. The company has upwards of NZ$200 million in total transaction value, with revenue of around NZ$40 million. Since its launch, it has booked over 130,000 motorhome roadtrips, over 220,000 cruise passengers and 7.5 million car rental days. The company has also branched into digital marketing consulting and data analytics.

The move will enable Webjet to expand its presence in the car and motorhome rental and cruise booking market.

“The acquisition of Online Republic represents a unique opportunity to leverage Webjet’s core capabilities into the attractive online car rental, cruise and motorhome segments,” Webjet Managing Director, John Guscic said in a statement to the ASX.

The acquisition will also help drive Webjet’s international expansion plans, with Online Republic generating over 90 percent of its bookings outside New Zealand.

“Bringing Online Republic under our broader Webjet banner will provide the opportunity to accelerate growth of the brands globally,” said Guscic.

The acquisition will be partially funded by an issue of approximately 2.8 million new Webjet shares at AU$6.21, representing 22 percent of the purchase price. A capital raise of $72 million will also help fund the acquisition.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Webjet, enabling us to broaden our product offering and deepen our footprint, enhancing our proposition for our customers,” said Guscic.

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