June 3, 2019 / 8:03 AM / 4 months ago

General Atlantic buys into Czech online travel agency Kiwi

PRAGUE (Reuters) - U.S. fund General Atlantic acquired a majority stake in Czech online travel agency Kiwi.com, giving it a strong partner to continue expansion, one of its founders said on Monday.

The sale of the stake, whose price was not disclosed but has been reported to be worth around 100 million pounds ($126.40 million), will see the exit of several financial investors.

Oliver Dlouhy said he and fellow co-founder Jozef Kepesi would stay in management.

“We are keeping most of (our stakes) and... are going to drive it forward,” he said by telephone.

The Czech edition of Forbes was the first to report on the sale and the price for the nearly 51% stake. The magazine has named Kiwi as the best Czech start-up twice.

The travel agency, which has been weighing a possible sale for several years, differs from competitors by offering what it calls “virtual interlining”, or selling flight itineraries combining normally non-cooperating airlines.

Revenue reached 30.9 billion crowns ($1.34 billion) in 2018, nearly quadrupling since 2016.

Reporting by Jason Hovet; editing by Jason Neely

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