Dreamlines Acquires Cruise 1St, Enters UK Market and Becomes Market Leader in Australia
Dreamlines, the German-headquartered OTA and tour operator, confirmed today the acquisition of 100 per cent of the share capital of Cruise 1st, the UK headquartered cruise specialist. The value of the transaction is not disclosed. The acquisition signals Dreamlines’ entry into the UK cruise market.
Dreamlines is the fastest growing online cruise portal worldwide with operations in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Russia, Brazil and the USA. Cruise 1st is one of the UK’s leading cruise specialists with operations in Australia and Singapore. Cruise 1st brings 180 employees to more than 400 global team members of the Dreamlines group.
Already the market leader in Germany, the company will now also hold market leadership in Australia and Singapore by operating two leading brands, CruiseAway by Dreamlines and Cruise 1st. Both brands keep their offices with around 50 staff members each, CruiseAway in the Gold Coast and Cruise 1st in Sydney. The Managing Directors Alastair Fernie (CruiseAway by Dreamlines) and Carl Frier (Cruise 1st) are aligned on the joint goal to grow the Australian cruise market.
The joint GMV of all brands including Cruise 1st in 2017 was more than 320 million Euros. In 2018 the group expects a global GMV of more than 400 million Euros and will be the largest cruise OTA outside the US market.
Dreamlines and Cruise 1st will pool their expertise and capabilities to create unique cruise products and experiences for their customers. Additionally, the companies will streamline their distribution channels, enabling suppliers to target customers more efficiently and with even greater effectiveness.
Felix Schneider, Managing Director of Dreamlines said “Entering the UK, the world’s 3rd biggest cruise market by volume, is an important milestone within our global strategy. We are expanding our role in the market and will strengthen our position as the cruise OTA with the widest global footprint. Cruise 1st enables us to offer our customers even more unique cruise holiday products and will grow our operator business, a key factor for our future success.”
Dan Townsley, CEO of Cruise 1st commented “The synergy between Cruise 1st and Dreamlines was too great to overlook. Combining a hugely successful global OTA with our own proficiency and database of customers in the UK, Australia and Singapore will drive higher sales volumes and margins and deliver huge growth for the business.”
Alex Frolov, General Partner at Target Global, an early investor in Dreamlines commented “We strongly believe in German marketplace companies that go global and we are impressed by the international growth of Dreamlines that is managed out of Hamburg. The acquisition of Cruise 1st and the entry into new key markets shows Dreamlines’ ambition and capability to become a global leader.“
Dentons provided legal due diligence, corporate and tax advice to Dreamlines. EY provided financial and tax due diligence to Dreamlines. White Hart Associates provided financial, tax and regulatory advice to Cruise 1st. Mundays advised the shareholders of Cruise 1st on transaction, corporate, and SPA matters.
The cruise portal Dreamlines was founded in 2012. It has over 400 employees and is the largest online provider of cruises in Europe. The company’s portfolio comprises more than 30,000 products, as well as the company’s own range of cruise packages including transfers and tours. Dreamlines is represented in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Brazil, Australia and the USA through its headquarters in Hamburg and further offices in Nice, Amsterdam, Moscow, São Paulo, Gold Coast and Boca Raton. For more info visit: www.dreamlines.com. In 2014 Dreamlines acquired CruiseAway in Australia. Since then www.cruiseaway.com.au has been the main website for Dreamlines’ business in Australia.
About Cruise 1st
Headquartered in Manchester, UK Cruise 1st is also a leading cruise retail brand in Australia and Asia Pacific with offices in Sydney and Singapore. Cruise 1st has been operating as a combined web and call centre business since 2000 and opened the UK’s first interactive cruise retail store in the Lowry Shopping Centre, MediaCity UK in January this year. For more information on Cruise 1st visit www.Cruise1st.com.au
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