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Helloworld to buy 40% of Phil Hoffmann Travel

The retail juggernaut will purchase a major piece of one of its award-winning Associate Members.

Phil Hoffmann is a much loved figure in the Australian travel industry.

Helloworld has announced it will buy a 40% stake in multi-award winning South Australian retail agent network, Phil Hoffmann Travel, from its eponymous founder, for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1990, Phil Hoffmann Travel is an Associate Member of Helloworld and operates nine locations across the state in Nurioopta, Gawler, Hyde Park, Modbury, Norwood, Semaphore, Stirling and Victor Harbour – backed by an overall team of 150.

The stake being purchased by Helloworld comes from Mr Hoffmann himself, who will retain his remaining 10%, while CEO and Director Peter Williams will retain his shareholding.

The nucleus of PHT - GM Michelle Ashcroft, Phil Hoffmann and CEO Peter Williams.

Terms of the deal say that Helloworld will have an option to acquire Hoffmann’s remaining 10% in the next three years. The transaction is expected to be finalised by July.

Helloworld CEO and Managing Director, Andrew Burnes, said he was delighted to purchase a stake in Phil Hoffmann Travel.

“[Phil Hoffmann Travel has] been been one of the most iconic brands in retail and corporate travel for many years and throughout that time have supported Helloworld as part of our Associate network and through our Viva Holidays, Sunlover Holidays, CruiseCo and Ready Rooms wholesale operations.

“We have been closely involved with them over many years and are looking forward to an even closer involvement through our stake in the business,” Burnes added.

Helloworld Travel Limited CEO and Managing Director, Andrew Burnes.

Commenting on the sale, Phil Hoffmann said his namesake business has been his professional life for the past 33 years.

“I see this new formal partnership between Helloworld and Phil Hoffmann Travel as an exciting opportunity for our respected brand, which will ensure both our clients and our fantastic team continue to enjoy the service, creativity and professionalism that they have been used to for over 30 years.”

Helloworld’s 40% acquisition will be funded from existing cash reserves, part of an extremely healthy balance sheet reported last week following a 240% jump in total revenue for the March quarter and 186% jump in year-to-date earnings.

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Written by: Matt Lennon

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