TOMORROW FOCUS AG’s acquisition of a 55 percent stake in the Tjingo Group, which operates the Dutch online travel agent Tjingo.nl, will take effect on 2 April 2012. Managing Directors Jan van der Tempel and Björn Huiskes, who set up the company in 2005, hold the remaining 45 percent stake in the company. A further agreement has been signed covering the acquisition of the remaining shares.
The price paid for the takeover is in the single-figure millions and will be settled partly in cash. Another component of the deal is the licence for the Dutch hotel ratings platform HolidayCheck.nl operated by the TOMORROW FOCUS subsidiary HolidayCheck AG. The aim is to introduce HolidayCheck rapidly into the Dutch market under the direction of the management team at Tjingo. To this end, there are plans to add new Dutch content and to translate existing international content into Dutch. Given the considerable overlap between the areas favoured by German and Dutch holidaymakers, HolidayCheck’s collection of six million ratings can be used as a good starting point to quickly build up a strong profile in the Dutch hotel ratings market. From 1 April 2012, HolidayCheck.nl will soon be the only Dutch hotel ratings platform able to broker package deals.
Tjingo.nl is based in Woerden and is one of the most successful online package tour brokers in the Netherlands. In an Internet survey conducted in 2011, it was voted the country’s best online travel agent. Tjingo has a long record of growth and profitability. The Tjingo portal will remain independent of HolidayCheck and continue to expand.
With a population of almost 17 million and very widespread Internet usage, the country is an attractive market for a wide range of activities in the field of package holiday sales. According to industry estimates, in the Netherlands around 40 to 50 percent of all package tours are booked online.
The takeover also allows TOMORROW FOCUS AG to speed up its plans for the international expansion of HolidayCheck AG, reflecting a strategy of developing both fast-growing and more established markets. The aim is to harness network effects between the markets as a way of generating new content. Further acquisitions are planned as part of this strategy.
Stefan Winners, CEO at TOMORROW FOCUS AG:
“This is an extremely attractive acquisition – both for us as a hotel ratings portal operator and for Tjingo as an online travel agent. We will be contributing our internationally renowned brand HolidayCheck, which has nearly six million hotel ratings alongside photographs and videos, including some existing Dutch content. At the same time, Tjingo and its founders, the Internet entrepreneurs Jan van der Tempel and Björn Huiskes, will be helping us to establish ourselves quickly with their extensive knowledge of the Dutch travel market. It puts us both in an ideal position to achieve strong growth. We see this as a template for future expansion in other countries.”
Björn Huiskes, founder and managing director of Tjingo:
“Now that Tjingo.nl is growing profitably, we think that partnering with TOMORROW FOCUS AG is the ideal way to establish a second brand on the Dutch travel market, in addition to Tjingo.nl. Through HolidayCheck, TOMORROW FOCUS AG has already demonstrated its ability to add value in many other countries.
Thanks to the software that we developed ourselves, we are now in a position to offer Dutch and German holidaymakers a wide range of both Dutch and German package tour providers. The strong combination of HolidayCheck.nl’s hotel ratings platform and an independent Tjingo creates tremendous growth potential for both portals.”
Tjingo.nl, based in Woerden, Netherlands, brokers package holidays worth around EUR 30 million, making it one of the Netherlands’ most successful online package tour brokers. The Tjingo Group has a workforce of twenty. Over the years, Tjingo has specialised in the online marketing of its Internet portal and in the development of high-quality software that allows users to find the right package holiday quickly, simply and flexibly.
HolidayCheck AG operates the biggest German-language holiday bookings and feedback portal on the Internet.
The company is based in Bottighofen, just across the Swiss border from the German town of Constance on Lake Constance. With over two hundred employees, HolidayCheck AG currently handles package holidays worth over EUR 600 million a year.
The idea of setting up a holiday ratings platform was first mooted in 1999. The company was subsequently founded in 2003. Today, with over 23 million visits every month (German Information Society for Measuring the Distribution of Advertising Media – IVW, January 2012), HolidayCheck AG operates the most important German-language holiday ratings portal as well as a TÜV-certified travel agency.
In response to growing international demand, the holiday platform is now available in ten languages.