DLA Piper advises Webjet on AU$330 million acquisition of JacTravel

Global law firm DLA Piper has advised digital travel business Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) on the acquisition of leading European B2B travel wholesaler JacTravel for AU$330 million (£200 million), and the associated AU$164 million equity raising. 

DLA Piper’s cross-border team was led by Australian Corporate partner Joel Cox, with assistance from senior associate James McCarthy, lawyer Jack McDonell and foreign legal associate Bradley Heath. DLA Piper’s UK acquisition team was led by Corporate partner Anu Balasubramanian, senior associate Simon Wright and associate Liam McLoughlin, with support from UK Intellectual Property partner Gareth Stokes and senior associate Nick Hilton.

DLA Piper's equity capital markets team was led by Head of Corporate Australia James Philips, with senior associate Kelly Morrison, solicitor Jeffrey Chen and graduate Amina Karcic. 

Lawyers from DLA Piper offices in China, Romania, the Middle East and the United States were also involved. 

Joel Cox said: "This is a transformative acquisition for our client Webjet, as they accelerate their global growth strategy to become the second largest B2B supplier globally.  

"The acquisition of JacTravel, with its highly complementary business lines, repositions our client’s B2B business WebBeds, increasing the depth and breadth of their offering – particularly in the important European market."

James Philips said: "This transaction highlights DLA Piper’s strengths as a leading advisor to listed tech companies, and our capacity to execute complex, interdependent transactions in different jurisdictions and time zones, each involving several parties. 

"The transaction builds on our recent role advising Australian company Link Group (ASX: LNK) on the acquisition of UK-based Capita Asset Services division of Capital Plc for £888 million (AU$1.49 billion). With lawyers in more than 40 countries, we have a powerful platform to advise our Australian-based clients on their global expansion."

UK-based JacTravel is a market leading supplier of online hotel bookings and inbound travel services to the tourism sector, with 10,000 directly contracted hotels and £398 million (AU$657 million) in annual total transaction value.

UBS and Credit Suisse acted as joint lead managers and underwriters and were advised by Ashurst. Deloitte acted as independent accountant. UK based private equity fund Vitruvian was the seller and was advised by Mayer Brown.