Wirtualna Polska acquires wakacje.pl for PLN 84 million


The Wirtualna Polska Group has entered into a contract for the acquisition of 100% of the shares in Enovatis S.A. – the leader on the online tourism market in Poland, owner of the popular tourist sites, wakacje.pl and easygo.pl. Similarly, the WP Group is continuing its investments on the e-commerce market in Poland, this time in the rapidly-growing online tourism segment.

Enovatis is the largest and fastest growing online travel agency (OTA) in the country. The Company’s portfolio consists of three popular travel portals – wakacje.pl, easygo.pl and wypoczynek.pl. The Company operates in four segments: outbound package tourism and leisure tourism, sales of airline tickets and intermediation in hotel reservations in Poland and worldwide. Enovatis is constantly working with several dozen tourism, technological and commercial partners, including the largest tour operators in Poland, such as Itaka, Rainbow, Exim Tours, Wezyr Holidays, Neckermann and Sun & Fun.

“The acquisition of Enovatis is the largest transaction since the merger between WP and o2. It brings us significantly closer to the strategic objective we assumed at that time, which is to achieve 50% of the Group’s revenues and EBITDA from the e-commerce market. Investment in the tourism segment is an excellent part of our philosophy of supporting Poles in their consumer decisions, in this case regarding the choice of travel agent and places for spending free time,” says Jacek Świderski, President of Wirtualna Polska Holding. “We are impressed by the Company’s success on the market in recent years, which has been achieved by Enovatis S.A.’s 150-strong team,” he adds.

“We are investing in a segment with strong market drives supported by the megatrends of society becoming increasingly affluent, as well as an increase in the frequency of holiday travel and tourism activity of residents of smaller towns. The propensity for and confidence of Poles in e-shopping is increasing rapidly. According to forecasts, the OTA market in Poland will be growing at a rate of approx. 15–17%, while the operating efficiency and brand strength of wakacje.pl is resulting in Enovatis’ increasing share of this market,” says Grzegorz Czapski, VP Corporate Development of the Wirtualna Polska Group.
The basis of Enovatis’ business is the sale of packages of trips and insurance in the online channel. The number of users of Enovatis’ tourism portal is steadily increasing, which the company owes to the strength of the wakacje.pl brand, as well as the level of customer service and the breadth of the available offering. In the peak season of summer 2015, the website was visited by an average of over 43,000 users per day (growth of 27% year-on-year). The conversion rate of visits to purchases of trips is also systematically improving. The company has unique solutions for monitoring conversion rates throughout the course of the customer’s shopping path and after-sales service. A significant advantage of Enovatis is its know-how in the use of data (Big Data), which enables, among others, specialist personalization and sorting of the offering, differentiating groups of customers and their needs, as well as the rapid presentation and provision of content of interest to the user.

“The complementarity of the services, the tightening of the sales channels and the introduction of standards of operating successfully in other industries has considerably helped increase the number of buyers. In 2014, the Company served 105k customers, which gave it first place on the agency market in Poland. I am convinced that attaching Enovatis to the Wirtualna Polska Group will give the Company a further intensive impulse for development, if only by benefiting from significant synergies in the area of marketing,” says Piotr Siudak, President of the Management Board of Enovatis.

“Such a philosophy ideally matches the WP Group’s genotype and strategy. Enovatis is a specialist which demonstrates concern for the offering provided and its large variety and consequently user satisfaction. This brings quantifiable results in the form of growing customer return indicators,” adds Grzegorz Czapski.

In recent years, customer returns over a five-year period have exceeded 30%, which places Enovatis at a world level. A chain of over 80 customer service points taking advantage of a very strong ROPO effect (Research Online, Purchase Offline) also supports the business. The chain is being expanded in the form of an effective franchise model, which enables the Company to flexibly respond to changes in market needs.

The WP Group’s investment in Enovatis is related not only to the enhancement of the Group’s product portfolio to include new, strong brands, but also the expansion of the WP team to include e-commerce tourism managers and experts. The Company employs more than 150 people in its headquarters in Gdańsk and has a call centre which operates 7 days a week.

Enovatis S.A. is a member of the Polish Chamber of Tourism, has a Rzetelna Firma [Reliable Company] certificate and is an accredited member of IATA. In 2015, its flagship brand, wakacje.pl received a Gold Medal in the national Laur Konsumenta [Consumer Laurel] competition, awarded for the most recognizable trademarks on the market.

The acquisition of Enovatis is a further acquisition made by the Wirtualna Polska Group with funds obtained from its public offering. This is simultaneously the seventh transaction since the IPO in May this year. In October of this year, the Group acquired Allani, which is growing in the e-commerce area of fashion & beauty. In September, it purchased Finansowysupermarket.pl Sp. z o.o. and Web Broker Sp. z o.o., significantly strengthening the position of Money.pl on the e-commerce financial market. In June, it acquired the Next Web Media Group operating the ABCzdrowie.pl and parenting.pl sites, enabling it to achieve a leadership position in these advertising areas. In May, it acquired the largest web radio platforms in Poland, OpenFM and PolskaStacja.pl.

Grupa Wirtualna Polska
Katarzyna Halicka, katarzyna.halicka@grupawp.pl, tel. 502 707 138
Maria Skoczkowska, maria.skoczkowska@grupawp.pl, tel. 502 707 232

Point of View Business Communications Consultancy
Marta Marczak, mm@pov.pl, tel. 695 602 099
Urszula Kułak, uk@pov.pl, tel. 693 521 533