Web Reservations International Acquired by Private Equity Firm Hellman and Friedman

Web Reservations International (WRI), a provider of technology, distribution and marketing solutions to accommodation and other travel suppliers worldwide through a network of owned sites and affiliate partners, was acquired by affiliates of private equity investment firm, Hellman and Friedman LLC.

Announcing the acquisition, WRI CEO Feargal Mooney, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Hellman & Friedman who were identified by our board as the right partner for WRI to support and accelerate our next phase of growth. This business has been built by the vision of our founders together with the collective talents of a highly driven team at WRI. We have an ambitious agenda for growth and further innovation. Hellman & Friedman’s experience in media and marketing services as well as the technology sector will provide valued support and resources to accelerate that growth and capitalise on strategic business opportunities of which we are uniquely positioned to take advantage”.

Founded in San Francisco in 1984, Hellman & Friedman has raised over $25b of committed capital and invested in over 60 companies across three principal offices in London, New York and San Francisco.

Commenting the transaction, Stephen Duckett, Managing Director of Hellman & Friedman LLP, said: “Hellman & Friedman’s investment experience in the digital media and software sectors have given us good insight into the evolution of online businesses. WRI has built a strong and distinctive franchise in the online travel market and we look forward to working with the team at WRI to build on this platform in the years ahead”.

WRI’s flagship brand, Hostelworld.com, has sold over 70m beds and processed over 15m customer bookings since inception, more than 10 years ago, with customers posting over 2.7m reviews of accommodation booked through the site. WRI’s websites include www.hostels.com, www.boo.com, www.bedandbreakfastworld.com and www.trav.com.

WRI sold €350m worth of accommodation in 2008, generating net revenues of €38m.

The company employs 93 people in its headquarter in Dublin, Ireland and has offices in Shanghai and Sydney.



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