MCI Management picks up majority stake in

Polish private equity fund MCI Management has acquired a 50.1% stake in Czech online travel agent

Published: 05 May 2008

Polish private equity fund MCI Management has acquired a 50.1% stake in Czech online travel agent

All shareholders have diluted their stakes, the founders as well as the majority owner - the Swiss investment group Internet Travel Holding. All partners have agreed upon the intention to enter the Warsaw Stock Exchange in 2009. INVIA.CZ was founded in 2002.

No immediate changes are taking place in the company management, with Michal Drozd, still one of the owners, staying in the position of Managing Director.

"By completing this transaction, MCI has a possibility to consolidate the online tourism market in Central Europe," said Maciej Kowalczyk, MCI's Investment Manager responsible for the project.

"Within 2-3 years, we would like to build up an important group, with a turnover in excess of 250 million Eur. Thanks to our portfolio, which includes the two largest players in the region - Invia and TravelPlanet - we have embarked upon the right path leading to the attainment of this goal. Both companies will continue operating independently, and consolidation of capital in the future is not ruled out," said Kowalczyk. has been selling vacation packages in the Czech ( and Slovak ( Republics. Last year the turnover of all its services was worth a total of 1.27 billion CZK (50 million Eur).

Currently, the travel agency has a network of more than 40 client centres throughout the Czech Republic, since 2007 a representation in Poland ( and since 2008 one in Hungary ( Further expansion to Romania ( is in the preparatory phase.

Drozd, founder and Managing Director, INVIA.CZ, said the company decided go for a financial investor to a strategic one, because such new owner will make it possible for the company to continue pursuing its own business strategy when reinforcing its position in Europe.

"Our goal is to remain number one in the whole Central European region, with emphasis on countries with a high growth potential, among which Slovakia, Hungary and Romania can be said to rank," he said.

On the plan to enter the Warsaw Stock Exchange, he added: "We expect that placing our shares on the exchange market will raise their value, and mainly will help us gain financial resources for expansion and consolidation in a further number of countries in the region."

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