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Gulf Capital completes buyout of DOTW

ABU DHABI, November 25, 2014

Gulf Capital, one of the leading alternative investment firms in the Middle East based in Abu Dhabi, has announced its successful closing of the management buy-out of Destinations of the World (DOTW), a leading multi-regional hospitality distributor.

Established in Dubai in 1993, DOTW has grown into one of the world’s largest accommodation wholesalers, operating an exclusively B2B distribution model.

Gulf Capital partnered with DOTW’s impressive senior management team to acquire 100 per cent of the company. Post-transaction, Gulf Capital will retain a controlling 57.5 per cent stake, with the balance held by DOTW management.

DOTW 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, with 95 per cent penetration of the region’s travel retailer agency market.

Dr Karim El Solh, chief executive officer of Gulf Capital, said: “This is a landmark deal for Gulf Capital. This was our largest management buy-out to date, in which once again we demonstrated our focus on identifying strong management teams with a demonstrated track record and partnering with them to acquire and grow a business to the next level. The accommodation wholesale sector is the fastest growing segment of the global travel market and DOTW has a solid track record of driving top-line growth and achieving significant scale economies.”

Keith Fernandez, group founder and CEO of DOTW, said: “We are excited to partner with Gulf Capital. From the outset, the investment team approached the opportunity with the mindset of adding value to our business. My team and I are very proud of the business that we have built and we look forward to taking it to even greater heights with our new partners.”

The global accommodation wholesale market is estimated at over $30 billion and is forecast to grow at 8 per cent per annum over the next five years.

Richard Dallas, managing director – private equity at Gulf Capital, said: “Hospitality distribution is characterised by very high fragmentation on both the supply-side (hotels) and the demand-side. The costs of direct distribution can be prohibitive, particularly for independent hotels or small/regional chains. Consequently, hotels will continue to have a high dependence on intermediaries like DOTW. We look forward to working with DOTW’s great management team on expanding their destination and distribution markets”

The transaction was funded by a combination of equity provided by Gulf Capital and the management team and acquisition finance provided by HSBC.  Gulf Capital was advised by Boston Consulting Group, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Buyout | Gulf Capital |

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