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Flight Centre announces new European acquisition

The Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) share price has edged lower on Monday despite the release of a positive announcement this morning.

At the time of writing the travel agent giant’s shares are down almost 1% to $41.25.

What was announced?

This morning Flight Centre announced that it has strengthened its global corporate travel network by investing further in its European footprint.

According to the release, on June 30 the company took 100% ownership of the 3Mundi corporate travel business in France and Switzerland by acquiring the remaining 75% interest in the business.

Flight Centre has worked with the Paris-based travel business since 2015 and bought a 25% stake in it in June 2017. The remaining stake has been acquired on terms that were agreed in a put-call option implemented with the original investment.

Management believes this has further underlined its position as one of the world’s largest corporate travel management businesses.

Managing director, Graham Turner, said: “France is an important business travel hub globally and is now the world’s sixth largest corporate travel market, making it a significant future growth opportunity for our company.”

He added: “We have worked closely with the 3Mundi team since 2015 and believe that this extension of our relationship will unlock further benefits – both for 3Mundi’s local customers and for FCM customers in general – and help us capitalise on this opportunity.”

The deal will give 3Mundi an enhanced global reach and full access to the company’s proven corporate travel systems, products, and customer offerings. And for Flight Centre, the deal provides it with a stronger corporate network and an even more powerful proposition for customers in the France and Switzerland markets.

What is 3Mundi?

The release explains that 3Mundi is a corporate travel business which was founded in 2006 by Jordy Staelen and Simon Renaud.

It operates in Paris and Geneva and currently employs 220 people. Current managing director Solenn Le Brazidec will continue to oversee 3Mundi’s day-to-day operations and has been appointed FCM Travel Solutions’ general manager for France and Switzerland.

In the 2018 calendar year the business generated total transaction value (TTV) in the order of €170million.

This means it won’t have a material impact on the company’s financial performance in the near term, but could be a driver of growth in the future.

Flight Centre’s corporate businesses generated $4.2 billion in TTV during the six months to December 31, 2018, which equates to ~37% of the group’s global TTV for the period.

Elsewhere in the industry, rivals Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD) and Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) have both edged lower on Monday despite there being no news out of either.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Corporate Travel Management Limited and Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Webjet Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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