TravelSupermarket merges with Icelolly.com

Peter Duffy

Chester-based price comparison website Moneysupermarket Group said it has agreed to combine its TravelSupermarket business (TSM) with Leeds-based Icelolly Marketing Limited (Icelolly.com) to enable “stronger and broader travel comparison services across both brands.”

Icelolly.com is an online package holidays travel intermediary specialising in price comparison and deals, and will complement TSM’s comparison services for holidays, flights, hotels, car hire and travel ancillaries,” said Moneysupermarket.

“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, including CEO Richard Singer, who will lead a common management team across both brands.

“The transaction is structured as a cash-free exchange with both TSM and Icelolly entering the combined business on a cash and debt-free basis.

“MSMG will own 62% of the combined entity and will have board control, with the remaining equity held by Palatine Private Equity LLP (the current owners of Icelolly.com) and the management team.

“No new capital is being invested into the business, although MSMG has agreed a loan note of £4m to fund working capital requirements.

“In 2019 the combined revenue for the two brands was around £30m, with 2020 performance significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

Moneysupermarket Group CEO Peter Duffy 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.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.