WP Group expands operations in Central and Eastern Europe


Szallas Group, part of Wirtualna Polska Holding, is buying an 80% stake in Romanian company Creative Eye SRL, which operates travel platform Litoralulromanesc.ro. With the transaction, WP Group continues its expansion in the travel industry in Central and Eastern Europe. The deal is valued at EUR 16.8 million, adjusted for the company’s net cash as at the transaction closing date.

"Litoralul Romanesc" translates to "Romanian coast" and indeed Litoralulromanesc.ro is a platform offering accommodations located along the Black Sea coastline in Romania, mainly in resorts and hotels. The company has a portfolio of several hundred accommodation facilities where in 2023 customers made bookings of a total value exceeding EUR 45 million. During this period, the company generated approximately EUR 3 millions of EBITDA.

– Szallas Group joined WP Group at the end of 2022. Since then, we have consistently pursued a strategy of building a local champion in the domestic travel bookings in Central and Eastern Europe. I am very pleased that Szallas Group's first acquisition, following its takeover by WP Group, is in Romania, a country where we believe the growth of travel services will be fastest. We believe that, like the Romanian economy as a whole, the travel market will also soon record very dynamic growth, catching up with comparable countries – says Aleksander Kusz, VP E-commerce at Wirtualna Polska Holding S.A.

The transaction value of the 80% stake in Creative Eye SRL is EUR 16.8 million, adjusted for net cash as at the closing date. As part of the deal, WP also agreed to acquire the remaining 20% stake in 2025, after the approval of the 2024 financial statements. The acquisition value of the 20% stake will be determined based on the mechanism established in the share purchase agreement.

– Szallas Group has been operating in Romania since 2019, when it acquired booking portal Travelminit. The acquisition of Litoralulromanesc.ro is a milestone in our development in this country. It is a combination of two businesses that operate in tourism but have different yet complementary characteristics. Travelminit focuses on short weekend getaways to smaller inland accommodations, while Litoralul Romanesc is the country's leader in vacation getaways, to larger hotels and seaside resorts. Together, we will be able to offer our customers a comprehensive travel offer – says Ferenc Rigo, CEO of Szallas Group.

– Our tech expertise, business model and potential proved to be very successful and have been observed on the European market by Szallas Group, backed by Wirtualna Polska Holding. They are committed to invest in Creative Eye to further develop the company and, together with Travelminit, to attain a market leader position in Romania. Following this investment, Litoralulromanesc.ro will be able to provide new solutions to serve customers and grow exponentially adds Ionut Nedeafounder and CEO of Creative Eye. We are pursuing a new level of development of Litoralulromanesc.ro, enhancing our commitment to customers and having a bold perspective on the future, both on the local market and in the region.

The deal will be finalized once the conditions precedent have been met, in particular once the approval of the Romanian anti-monopoly authority is obtained.