2019 has certainly started off with a bang with the announcement today that Red Label Vacations Inc. – which operates redtag.ca, itravel2000.com, The Travel Experts and TravelBrands – has signed an agreement to be acquired by a subsidiary of H.I.S. Group, a leading global travel services company based in Japan.
Under the terms of the agreement, Red Label Vacations will continue to operate as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of H.I.S. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by the Canadian Competition Bureau. Subject to the satisfaction of all necessary conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed in the first calendar quarter of 2019.
Co-owners Frank DeMarinis, Joe DeMarinis, and Enzo DeMarinis said that: “It is a very exciting day for our company as this marks the launch of our next phase of growth. H.I.S. is committed to supporting our continued growth at home in Canada as well as internationally. We expect that H.I.S.’s support will enable us to enhance our service offerings on both the wholesale and retail fronts and accelerate our growth objectives. We look forward to a very bright future.”
Hideo Hatano, executive officer, global business development division, H.I.S. Co. Ltd., noted that: “The acquisition of Red Label Vacations is in keeping with our ambitious expansion plan in North America and we look forward to building upon Red Label Vacation’s branding and experience in the Canadian market space to further service the North American market.”
BMO Capital Markets acted as exclusive financial advisor to Red Label Vacations Inc. with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP acting as legal counsel.
Red Label Vacations Inc. was founded by brothers Enzo, Frank and Joe DeMarinis in 2004. The company has two operating segments split into Wholesale and Retail. The retail travel platform offers a wide variety of travel products direct-to-consumers through a number of channels, including two leading Canadian online travel agencies (OTAs), redtag.ca and itravel2000.com. The wholesale travel business sells full range of travel products (e.g., air, hotel, car rental, cruise and specialty) to retail travel agencies throughout Canada.
H.I.S. is a publicly traded multi-national travel company based in Tokyo, Japan with 282 branches in Japan, 275 branches in 158 cities internationally, nearly 17,000 employees worldwide and over ¥600 billion in annual sales.
H.I.S. has developed a significant global footprint and has evolved from Japan’s first travel operator dedicated to overseas trips to offering services in a range of sectors beyond travel, including the operation of theme parks, hotels, and robotics businesses.
H.I.S. owns and operates Henn-na Hotel in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture of Japan, which was recognized by Guinness World Records as the first robot-staffed hotel in the world, and H.I.S. now has 6 robot hotels in addition to 25 other hotels.
H.I.S. separately owns Jonview, a leading travel package company in Canada purchased from Air Transat, Merit Travel, a leading corporate and retail travel provider, and Miki Travel, a global B2B tour operator and wholesaler with branch offices in over 30 cities around the world.