CVC is snapping up European assets at a rate of knots as it acquires Etraveli and QA within two days

Lucy White
CVC Capital Partners Etraveli QA EMK Capital
CVC is loading up its portfolio having raised a record €16bn fund earlier this year (Source: Getty)

Private equity giant CVC Capital Partners has been on a purchasing spree, acquiring travel agency Etraveli and IT education provider QA in just two days.

After raising a record €16bn (£14bn) for its latest fund, CVC splashed out €508m to buy Sweden-based Etraveli from German media conglomerate ProSieben.

It took UK-headquartered QA off the hands of EMK Capital, a new firm which span out from Bregal Capital and which is headed by Conservative party donor Edmund Lazarus.

Although the financial details of the QA deal were undisclosed, Lazarus said the business's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) had rocketed under Bregal and EMK's hold.

"We acquired QA in 2007 with around £2m of Ebitda in our first year of ownership. Today the company’s run rate Ebitda is over £50m,” he said.

Lazarus added that it was one of the best investments to come out of that particular Bregal fund. EMK is currently offloading the legacy assets it inherited from Bregal as it looks to invest its own debut fund, which closed at £575m in May.

Etraveli meanwhile is currently strong in the Nordics, but has a fast-growing online business. Its value has soared in just two years, after ProSieben bought the travel company in 2015 for just €235m.

Focusing mainly on flights, Etraveli operates in 46 countries on five continents and has grown by around 40 per cent organically year-on-year in recent times.

Last year, it sold airline tickets and related services to more than 5m travellers.

“The electronic travel sector is dynamic and fast-growing, and Etraveli is a clear leader thanks to its e-commerce expertise and a highly scalable business model,” said CVC's Lorne Somerville.

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