Dreamlines Acquires Cruise 1st and Enters UK Market

Travel Industry Wire

Dreamlines, the German-headquartered OTA and tour operator, confirmed today the acquisition of 100 per cent of the share capital of Cruise 1st, the UK headquartered cruise specialist. The value of the transaction is not disclosed.

Dreamlines is the fastest growing online cruise portal worldwide with operations in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Russia, Brazil and the USA. Cruise 1st is one of the UK’s leading cruise specialists with operations in the Australia and Singapore markets also. Cruise 1st brings 180 employees to more than 400 global team members of the Dreamlines group.

The acquisition signals Dreamlines’ entry into the UK cruise market. The acquisition also sees Dreamlines, the market leader in Germany, become market leader in Australia and Singapore. In the Australian market Dreamlines will operate two leading brands CruiseAway and Cruise 1st.

The combined GMV of all brands including Cruise 1st in 2017 was over than 320 million Euros. In 2018 the Dreamlines group expects a global GMV of more than 400 million Euros and will be the largest cruise OTA outside the US market.

Dreamlines and Cruise 1st will pool their expertise and capabilities to create unique cruise products and experiences for their customers. Additionally, the companies will streamline their distribution channels, enabling suppliers to target customers more efficiently and with even greater effectiveness.

Felix Schneider, Managing Director of Dreamlines said, “Entering the UK, the world’s 3rd biggest cruise market by volume, is an important milestone within our global strategy. We are expanding our role in the market and will strengthen our position as the cruise OTA with the widest global footprint. Cruise 1st enables us to offer our customers even more unique cruise holiday products and will grow our operator business, a key factor for our future success.”

Daniel Townsley, CEO of Cruise 1st commented, “The synergies between Cruise 1st and Dreamlines were too great to overlook. Combining a hugely successful global OTA with our own proficiency and database of customers in the UK, Australia and Singapore will drive higher sales volumes and margins and deliver huge growth for the business.”

Alexander Frolov, General Partner at Target Global, an early investor in Dreamlines commented, “We strongly believe in German marketplace companies that go global and we are impressed by the international growth of Dreamlines that is managed out of Hamburg. The acquisition of Cruise 1st and the entry into new key markets shows Dreamlines’ ambition and capability to become a global leader”.

Dentons provided legal due diligence, corporate and tax advice to Dreamlines. EY provided financial and tax due diligence to Dreamlines. White Hart Associates provided financial, tax and regulatory advice to Cruise 1st. Mundays advised the shareholders of Cruise 1st on transaction, corporate, and SPA matters.

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