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MISSISSAUGA — The number of players in the OTA market just got smaller – and one company got a whole lot bigger – with Red Label Holdings’ purchase of online retailer itravel2000.
Red Label Holdings Inc., parent company of TravelBrands and Redtag.ca, announced this morning that it had reached an agreement to acquire itravel2000. itravel2000 was previously owned by the London-based Westminster Group. A Red Label purchase brings the company back in Canadian hands under the direction of the DeMarinis brothers.
“This deal marks a significant milestone for our retail business. itravel2000 has built a trusted brand and loyal client base for over 20 years. With our scale, we have the opportunity to move itravel2000’s business forward even faster,” said Joe DeMarinis, Vice President of Red Label Holdings. “I am pleased to have reached this agreement. We can provide itravel2000 with more options, differentiated products and services created specifically for the Canadian market.
“We look forward to continuing our long-term business relationships with our partners and suppliers, and to serve Canadians with the best value and services in travel.”
Dean Moore, President & CEO, itravel2000, said itravel2000 “has been at the forefront of the Canadian online travel agency space for over two decades and the acquisition by Red Label Holdings Inc. creates a platform to ensure one of Canada’s most instantly recognizable brands continues to flourish.”
Moore added that “Enzo, Joe and Frank DeMarinis have a long and distinguished track record in the Canadian retail travel industry and their skills and experience will be a tremendous asset to the business going forward.”
itravel2000 hit the headlines in 2006 when it was purchased by Travelzest for $51.5 million. Things got interesting when itravel2000 co-founder Jonathan Carroll took over as interim CEO of Travelzest in 2009 (and left in 2013, instigating legal action). Westminster Group bought itravel2000 in 2013.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.