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Gulf Capital Sells Destinations of the World to Webjet Limited for US$173 Million

Gulf Capital Sells Destinations of the World to Webjet Limited for US$173 Million
November 05, 2018

Gulf Capital Announces the Sale of Destinations of the World to Webjet Limited, a World Leader in B2B Travel, for US$173 Million, resulting in an IRR in excess of 15%

Strategic Sale Highlights the Appeal of the Travel Industry and Technology Investments in the Middle East

(Abu Dhabi- November 5, 2018) – Gulf Capital, one of the largest and most active alternative asset management firms in the Middle East, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement to sell Destinations of the World (“DOTW”) to Webjet Limited (“Webjet”). DOTW is being sold for US$173 million, resulting in an IRR in excess of 15% and making it one of the largest technology exits to date in the Middle East. This acquisition will firmly solidify Webjet’s position as the number 2 B2B travel player globally. Webjet is acquiring DOTW from Gulf Capital, its founder and its management team.

Commenting on the sale, Dr. Karim El Solh, CEO and Managing Partner of Private Equity at Gulf Capital, said: “We are very pleased to be announcing today the strategic sale of Destination of the World to a prestigious global player like Webjet. Gulf Capital has worked very closely with the DOTW management team to build a high-quality global business with a strong market position over the last five years. Under Gulf Capital’s ownership, DOTW has nearly doubled its Total Transaction Value from US$279 million in 2013 to an estimated $529 million for the last 12 months to June 2018.. During its ownership period, Gulf Capital has also transformed DOTW from a local player into one of the world’s largest B2B players through a series of bolt-on acquisitions and rapid organic expansion across Asia, Europe and the Americas. This transaction is yet another example of Gulf Capital’s ability to back local businesses and to transform them into global leaders.”

Webjet’s Managing Director, John Guscic said: “I am truly delighted to announce the acquisition of Destinations of the World which solidifies WebBeds’ position as the #2 B2B player globally. WebBeds is focused on helping our clients succeed and enabling our hotel partners to respond to fast-changing market trends. The acquisition of DOTW will ensure we can accomplish this on an even greater scale than we have achieved to date. DOTW is a company we have worked with for many years, and we have the greatest amount of respect for its business. We look forward to working with the DOTW team in the weeks and months ahead as we integrate our businesses and develop the best possible outcomes for all of our partners and clients.”

Following the acquisition, WebBeds will have more than 2,100 employees, allowing it to provide truly local support to its worldwide partner network. It will feature a portfolio of more than 250,000 hotels in all regions of the globe, of which c.28,500 are directly contracted.

Abdullah Shahin, Managing Director of Private Equity at Gulf Capital, said: "Our investment in DOTW highlights our strong focus on value addition and operational improvements in our portfolio companies. In the case of DOTW, we have managed to attract a world class management team, streamline the operations through offshoring back office functions to the Philippines, expand rapidly around the globe through organic expansion, and complete a series of bolt-on acquisitions and, in the process, nearly double the size of DOTW. Gulf Capital has also invested aggressively into DOTW’s technology platform, migrating it to the cloud, upgrading its infrastructure and expanding daily online search capacity from less than 10 million searches per day to 1.5 billion searches. DOTW’s technology platform is now considered one of the leading platforms in the industry. We are confident that DOTW will continue its robust growth trajectory under the ownership of Webjet and that the combined group will achieve significant scale and synergies.”

Dr. El Solh concluded: “This is a landmark transaction not only for Gulf Capital, but also for the entire private equity industry in the Middle East. It highlights the ability of regional private equity firms to make focused bets on technology firms in the Middle East, to add significant value, to secure sales to global strategic buyers and to generate attractive returns for investors. Gulf Capital has invested in five technology-related companies to date, and we look forward to continuing our technology investment activities and to increasing our exposure to the nascent New Economy in the Middle East.”

Download press release in Arabic

 
 
 
 
 

Fraud Alert

Fraud Alert - Important alert to Gulf Capital Investors,Shareholders, the Financial Services Community and the Public

Fraudsters are engaging in a fraudulent email and website scams whereby websites and communications are targeting members of the public and potential investors (victims) by fraudulently using the identity of legitimate members of Gulf Capital's Executive team or Gulf Capital's Board of Directors to solicit investments, fake job offers and other dealings, without authority, and for a malicious purpose. Neither Gulf Capital's Chief Executive Officer nor any members of its Board of Directors or other members of its Executive team have made any offers for investment partnership, offers of employment or other dealings through these channels and the names, and identities of such individuals are being used illegally and without their consent.

Gulf Capital and its management have taken and will continue to take legal action against anyone found misusing Gulf Capital's name or the names or identities of any members of the Board of Directors of Gulf Capital or Gulf Capital's Executive team illegally or without consent for whatever reason.

Report Scams

We invite you to immediately contact fraud-detection@gulfcapital.com* if any of the following occur:

  1. You have received any unsolicited correspondence or investment advice or you think you have been contacted in relation to a possible scam (whether by telephone, email or courier) by sources fraudulently impersonating Gulf Capital's Board of Directors or any members of Gulf Capital's Executive team.
  2. You have received notice from anyone outside of Gulf Capital informing you or raising concern regarding the fact that they may have been contacted by any sources fraudulently impersonating Gulf Capital's Board of Directors or any members of Gulf Capital's Executive team.
  3. You have received any communications referencing any of Gulf Capital's Board of Directors that you consider are suspicious or which you are not sure how to respond to.
  4. You have any concerns about the authenticity of any website passing itself off as a website operated by Gulf Capital or referencing the names and identities of the Board of Directors of Gulf Capital or any of its Executive team without authority.
*Note: When forwarding suspicious e-mails to fraud-detection@gulfcapital.com:
  1. Do not modify the original subject line or contents enclosed, and do not include any personal or confidential information.
  2. Forward the full internet headers of any suspicious emails to fraud-detection@gulfcapital.com before deleting as this information willhelp Gulf Capital to track the true origin of the correspondence. The internet headers can be found through your e-mail system from within the e-mail. For example, in Microsoft Outlook, you can find the internet headers by opening the e-mail, then choosing "View" and "Options". Depending on the e-mail system that you use, the process for locating the internet headers will vary. We recommend you either copy and paste the internet header and message into a new e-mail or scan the e-mail and full headers and send as a PDF attachment to ensure it is received by fraud-detection@gulfcapital.com.

Protect Yourself

  1. We recommend that you avoid getting into a conversation with any fraudsters or revealingany personal or identifying information, but you should endeavor to record thepurported name of the person and organisation along with any other information they give you (e.g., telephone number, address etc.) and then forward all such information to fraud-detection@gulfcapital.com.
  2. You should obtain independent legal and financial and professional advice before handing over any funds or entering into any agreements in relation to such solicitations.
  3. We recommend that you not respond or open any attachments or links associated with any suspicious e-mails.
Copyright © 2017 Gulf Capital Pvt. JSC. All rights reserved.

Illegal Use of Gulf Capital's Name

Phishing Email Alert

Gulf Capital Pvt. JSC has recently become aware of a spate of fraudulent emails purporting to offer financing from, and employment at, Gulf Capital and Gulf Capital Limited (DIFC). and misusing the official Gulf Capital logo and trade name. These emails do not originate from Gulf Capital or any of our affiliates. If you have received any such email, do not click any links in the email or provide any personal information (e.g. your bank details or copies of identity documents).

There are a number of illegal advance fee scams in operation where our name and those of our Board of Directors and Senior Management are being impersonated and abused.

The Gulf Capital name, and sometimes the names of individual employees within our firm, have been used in various fraudulent scam emails, letters and phone calls. These communications typically seek to attract a victim by suggesting that project funding or a job can be obtained by paying an upfront fee. Sometimes fake documents are sent to the victim and websites mimicking the Gulf Capital name and brand are used.

Common themes include:

  • the use of similar domain names designed to appear legitimate; examples include using phishing email accounts from domains such as: @gulfcp.com, @gullfinvest.com, board members name@outlook.com, @gulfunioninvestment.com, name@gullfcapital.com
  • offers of work/visa services related to employment in the Middle East upon payment of administrative, medical and other fees;
  • offers of project financing upon payment of a fake surety bond and due diligence fees;
  • forged Board of Directors resolutions approving loans, MOUs, loan agreements claiming "100% refundable" professional service fees;
  • bogus look-alike websites;
  • fake profiles on LinkedIn and My Opportunity purporting be Directors or Management of Gulf Capital;
  • "signed" and stamped contracts purporting to be provided by us regarding project financing; and
  • use of our UAE telephone numbers by criminal impersonators.

This is not an exhaustive list of scams. New schemes designed to steal the business public's money or personal data are being invented all the time or for use in other illegal activities. Please act prudently and sensibly for your own protection and take note of our Fraud Alert on our website. The perpetrators may not always request money or personal details on initial contact, but often wait until the victim has responded.

Please note that Gulf Capital and its Management and Directors have no involvement in these or any other scams, and will vigorously prosecute any violators in tandem with the concerned authorities. Our name is being used in an unauthorized and illegal way. Note that we do not use Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook or Yahoo addresses.

We recommend you delete scam emails and do not reply to scam letters, emails, calls or faxes, and do not send money to strangers. If you need to confirm with us whether a communication is genuine, please contact us at fraud-detection@gulfcapital.com.

I have read and understood the Fraud Alert, Terms & Conditions of Use and Privacy Policy. I accept the terms and condition therein and wish to proceed to the Gulf Capital website.