The Wirtualna Polska Group and the owners of the eSky Group entered into a conditional agreement on purchase of a 6.3% stake in eSky.pl S.A. – Online Travel Agency (OTA) leader in Poland, in Central and Eastern European markets, and leading OTA in South America. The purchase price for the minority stake is PLN 15.6 million. The transaction reflects the consistent execution of the WP Group’s strategy of increasing the share of the e-commerce segment in revenues and EBITDA and the eSky Group’s development strategy.
We perceive this financial investment as a prelude to potential business cooperation. eSky and wakacje.pl owned by the WP Group were established more than ten years ago to satisfy different needs, but today they drive strategically in a similar direction – offering foreign holiday travel – says Jacek Świderski, President of the Wirtualna Polska Holding Management Board.
eSky is a leading online travel agent (OTA) in Poland, focusing on the sale of airline tickets, hotels, car rental and technologically advanced dynamic bundles. Through eSky travelers can buy tickets of 651 regular, low-cost and charter airlines, book accommodation in nearly 850,000 hotels and apartments across the globe, rent a car or buy travel insurance. For a few years eSky has been successfully expanding internationally. The first foreign services were established in Bulgaria and Romania; the next ones were launched under the eDestinos brand in South American markets. Currently the service is available on 18 global markets and is planning further international expansion.
Globally eSky sites are visited by 180 million users per year, and the mobile application is used by 1.5 million people per month. The huge popularity of the service translates into revenues – in 2016 the company sold over 1.2 million airline tickets and nearly 800 thousand other products from its offering. In 2016 eSky recorded revenues of PLN 1.3 billion and EBITDA of PLN 14.5 million.
- To start with, we are planning to cooperate with the WP Group based on close partnership in the Polish market. We expect a number of synergies, both in the media and operational area, in cooperation with the wakacje.pl and nocowanie.pl services – says Łukasz Kręski, Co-founder and Chairman of the eSky Supervisory Board.
- The transaction with the WP Group is another step in pursuance of our long-term development strategy. Thanks to WP’s support eSky will be able to execute its plans to increase the reach and enhance the travel product offering in Poland. We also hope to tighten our cooperation in the future and maybe expand it to include areas beyond travel – adds Łukasz Habaj, Co-founder and Member of the eSky Supervisory Board.
eSky consistently invests in development of proprietary technologies, which puts this operator in the European top when it comes to IT solutions for the travel industry. In line with the global trends, the company also constantly develops mobile channel functionalities. ESky's dedicated application is very highly praised by users - it has also been frequently awarded in industry competitions in the e-commerce category (Mobile Trends Awards).
- The number of airline passengers in Poland is dynamically increasing, but despite that a statistical Pole still travels by plane three times less frequently than a German. eSky's strong position in the local market will make it possible to build on this potential – says Adam Rogaliński, Wirtualna Polska Group’s Investment Director.
The investment in the eSky Group stake is another step taken by the Wirtualna Polska Group in the area of travel e-commerce. So far the WP Group has been active in the travel industry thanks to the online agent specializing in the sale of organized foreign travel – Wakacje.pl and in the domestic travel segment – Nocowanie.pl.
Information on the companies:
The eSky Group is the leader of the Polish online airline ticket reservation market with 13 years of experience in organizing travel. Last year eSky expanded to 9 new markets to have dedicated online services active in 18 countries across the globe – in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldova, Turkey, Brazil, Peru, Dominican Republic, Panama, Salvador, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and Columbia. Additionally, clients from other countries have access to an international English-language service eSky.com.
eSky services are visited by 180 million users per year and the mobile application is used by 1.5 million people per month. The huge popularity of the service translates into revenues – in 2016 the company sold over 1.2 million airline tickets and nearly 800 thousand other products from its offering. The company’s product portfolio, in addition to airline tickets, also includes hotels, car rental, travel insurance and new dimension of travel thanks to dynamic bundling.
The Wirtualna Polska Group is the owner of a horizontal portal, leader of the Polish online market – Wirtualna Polska. The Group offers numerous specialized vertical portals in different areas, among others: broadly understood entertainment (Pudelek, WP Gwiazdy and Teleshow), health, parenting and lifestyle (WP abcZdrowie, WP Parenting, WP Kobieta and Kafeteria), business (WP money), sport (WP SportoweFakty) or technology (WP Tech).
The group is developing its business in the rapidly growing e-commerce market – it is the owner of Domodi and Allani (fashion), Homebook (home and interior design), Nocowanie.pl and Wakacje.pl (travel) and Money.pl, TotalMoney.pl, Finansowysupermarket.pl (financial services).
Wirtualna Polska is also a free terrestrial television channel packed with the world’s most popular film and series hits featuring top stars, unusual documentary series and entertainment news and commentary programs, for example #Infoteka hosted by Maciej Orłoś.