Russian “Vipservis” holding acquires 100% of the Russian “daughter” company of Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) as per announcement of both companies.
CWT is a leader in business tourism in the Russian market since 2008. CWT operates in nearly 150 countries of which 100 are through franchise. According to “Vipservis” website it was founded in 1993 and is “the largest Russian air consolidator selling air and railway tickets, as well as tourism and related services.” The firm JSC “V. I. P. service” is operated by the “Ticket house” company according to the state register. As of today, according to the register 100% of the CWT’s Russian subsidiary – “CWT rus” is still onwed by CWT Beheermaatschappij from the Netherlands.
Under the agreement “Vipservis” will receive a three-year franchise to use the CWT brand with automatic prolongation, says CWT Director of marketing in Russia Mila Sidorina. CWT will be able to take advantage of an extensive network and client base of “Vipservis” in Russia, she added. “Vipservis” will be able to work with the global network of CWT – so the company hopes to improve service for global clients in Russia and abroad, said their representative. “There are specific markets and Russia is one of these” continues Ms. Sidorina. According to her, it is better to manage the market through partners who better understand the local market and customers. “Vipservis” is in the list of Forbes 200 largest private companies in Russia (88th in 2016), she recalls.
“Vipservis” could purchase CWT for less than $10 million, because this is not a growing business, as per opinion of a top manager of a large Russian travel agency. According to him, is an acquisition of a good brand with a small base. A top manager of another major Russian travel agency believes that the transaction value did not exceed $5 million.
In the last few years CWT has lost its positions in the Russian corporate market. According to “SPARK-Interfax”, the proceeds of LLC “CWT rus” were dropping from 2013 to 2015, and revenues decreased by 2% to 1.01 billion rubles, with net loss amounted to 204 million rubles.