Auto Escape Group to be acquired by Online Travel Company Expedia

2014-06-27
Published : Jun-2014

Expedia Inc, an online travel company announced that it is going to acquire European online car rental reservation company, Auto Escape Group from private equity fund Montefiore Investment, and few members of management team of AutoEscape. The deal’s financial terms are yet to be disclosed.

Expedia, which was launched in 2001, is basically an Internet-based travel website company. The company, headquartered in Bellevue has localized sites for 30 countries. Expedia does hotel reservations, books airline tickets, cruises, car rentals, vacation packages and various services and attractions via telephone travel agents and the web.

Expedia said that by adding more than 20 websites and some additional choices for consumers, this deal helps the company to expand its European car rental market presence. The online travel company expects this deal to close in the third quarter of 2014.

Auto Escape will become a part of CarRentals.com brand of Expedia and also report to the Hotwire Group’s President, Henrik Kjellberg.

Kjellberg said that they are excited to expand their CarRentals.com brand internationally, so that they can provide their customers more choices across the globe and help their supply partners expand their marketing reach.

Auto Escape founded in 1999, offers leisure customers all-inclusive car hire services via two brands namely Car del Mar and Auto Escape. Auto Escape has an international reach and it ensures rental car availability in 125 countries with almost 300 suppliers. The company employs about 15 people in two main offices located in Pertuis in France and Hamburg in Germany.

This deal comes in the midst of fierce competition in the online travel industry. In 2013, Travelocity and Expedia joined to share the load on promotion, searches and bookings.

In May this year, Expedia posted a smaller loss for the first quarter due to a near 19 percent increase in revenues, as more customers used its sites to book airline tickets and hotel rooms.

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