Major online travel brands to merge

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Palatine Private Equity has agreed a deal to combine Icelolly Marketing Limited, which trades as Icelolly.com with Moneysupermarket.com Group’s TravelSupermarket (TSM), to enable stronger and broader travel comparison services across both brands.

Leeds-based Icelolly.com is an online package holidays travel intermediary founded in 2005 and specialising in price comparison and deals, and is described in the deal as complementing TSM’s comparison services. Palatine has backed the business since 2013.

Following the merger, both brands will be retained, with each benefiting from revenue diversification, shared commercial expertise and greater audience reach.

Icelolly.com brings an experienced senior team from the travel industry to the new joint venture, including CEO Richard Singer who will lead a common management team across both brands.

MoneySupermarket Group will remain the major shareholder of the new entity alongside Palatine Private Equity and the senior management team.

Richard Singer, CEO of Icelolly, said: “Combining the businesses will deliver a better service to both sets of customers. Making holiday discovery exciting and simple for everyone and helping holidaymakers to find and save money on their perfect holiday is at the centre of everything which the two brands have done and which the new company will do. We will continue to partner with some of the biggest and best travel companies in the UK and roll out more exciting and innovative services to bring a more complete comparison experience to each site”.

Andy Lees, partner at Palatine, said: “The ethos of the business will continue to have consumers at its heart. Digital innovation and access to a large pool of travel providers will offer customers a more comprehensive and accessible comparison experience”.

Peter Duffy, CEO of Moneysupermarket Group, said: “The combination of TravelSupermarket and Icelolly.com will benefit customers of both brands with a richer and more diversified offer as the travel and holiday markets recover. As well as unlocking commercial benefits, the creation of a standalone entity under a dedicated management team will give us greater flexibility going forwards to maximise shareholder returns.”

Completion of the transaction is conditional on the receipt of clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority.

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