The Lido Group, based in Sydney, has entered into a strategic partnership with German-based global hotel solutions provider HRS.
As part of the agreement, HRS has taken a minority shareholding in the Australian hotel booking and payment solutions provider.
Speaking in Sydney yesterday, The Lido Group managing director, Steve Mackenzie, said the company was on a very strong growth trajectory, having notched up 31% growth last year and 172% growth the previous year. That’s total growth from financial year 2014 to financial year 2016 of 253%.
Established in 1987, The Lido Group is a privately owned business providing integrated hotel booking and payment solutions to major Australian corporations and government organisations. The award-winning company, chaired by well-known travel industry and aviation figure Martin Cowley, currently works with more than 7000 hotels across Australia and New Zealand.
For HRS, an Australian presence represents an opportunity to expand into the seventh-largest business travel market in the world. For the Lido Group, the HRS tie-up will give greater depth and deeper product offering.
HRS makes money by taking commission from hotels. It offers corporate customers more than 300,000 hotels in 190 countries, including hundreds of hotel chains and approximately 180,000 independent properties. The privately owned company provides customised hotel booking and payment solutions to more than 3000 enterprises, including global players such as Google, China Mobile, Huawei and Alibaba.
Mackenzie said yesterday HRS and The Lido Group were “incredibly alike” and when he met HRS chief executive Tobias Ragge at the end of 2014, the synergies between the two fast-growing companies, in both cultural as well as business terms, were immediately apparent.
“As it progressed, it turned into a genuine equity partnership,” Mackenzie said.
“The Lido Group founder Brian Bridgewood and HRS founder Robert Ragge [father of Tobias] both started with nothing more than a telephone and a reservations book,” Mackenzie added. “Today the values of these visionary individuals continue to underpin their respective organisations.
“Both companies are also on strong growth trajectories propelled by their unique hotel content, cutting-edge technology and close relationships with valued corporate customers and leading TMCs.
“This new partnership will provide the platform for The Lido Group to further accelerate its expansion.”
Tobias Ragge said that investment in The Lido Group marked a major milestone in the HRS Group’s global expansion.
“This development offers huge potential for HRS, with the Australian business travel accommodation market now the seventh largest worldwide,” Ragge said. “Australia is also a global leader when it comes to companies booking their business travel accommodation online.
By tapping into this market, HRS is now active in all of the top business travel markets.
“In addition, our partnership with The Lido Group enables HRS to offer a first-class local service to our customers across the Asia-Pacific region and gives us a significant competitive edge.”
Written by Peter Needham