Kuoni Group

EBITDA: CHF 99 million in 2016
Number of Employees: 8,000
Sales: CHF 3,621 million in 2016

Kuoni Group is a leading service provider to the global travel industry and governments with leading positions in its areas of activity and sustainable growth prospects, with a strong focus on Asia.

Kuoni was founded in 1906 and was acquired by EQT VII in 2016. The Company focuses on three core activities:

VFS Global, the industry pioneer and world’s leading visa services provider, works for 48 governments, operates >1,900 application centres in 123 countries and holds an estimated 50% market share of the global outsourced applications market. It generates almost 70% of its turnover from applicants from Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

GTA is an industry pioneer and leading distributor of travel services globally. With products sourced from over 45,000 travel suppliers, GTA provides over 50,000 properties and 15,000 destination services to its customers globally, including travel agents, tour operators and OTAs. More than 40% of its turnover is sourced from the fast growing travel markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Global Travel Services (GTS) sources and coordinates destination services - from accommodation, transportation, tours and activities to venues and event management. GTS is the number one player in the group travel market and handles 50,000 leisure tours per year. GTS generates 60% of its turnover from Asia/Pacific source markets.

To Kuoni Group

Market trends and drivers

Secular underlying travel market growth is positively affecting all three Kuoni business units. VFS Global is expected to grow faster than the travel market driven by increasing penetration of visa process outsourcing and strong travel demand from emerging markets. GTA's growth is driven by connecting its core customers - travel agents, tour operators and OTAs - to a highly fragmented hotel and destination service industry, in particular in rapidly growing Asian travel markets like China.

Investment potential

Kuoni perfectly fits EQT’s principles of investing in market leading, high-quality companies and supporting them to become even stronger and more sustainable for the future. At the time of EQT’s acquisition, Kuoni was a listed mini-conglomerate of three unrelated businesses. The rationale for acquiring Kuoni was to position these three businesses separately with a dedicated governance structure to optimally support Kuoni’s further development.

EQT, together with the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation as owners, intends to enable Kuoni to realize its full potential and to grow in its dynamic end markets by investing in new services, by strengthening its operational platform and by providing Kuoni with access to capital to pursue strategically important acquisitions.