FSN Capital’s investment in VIA Travel shows how the private equity model can transform an underperforming business into a clear leader in its market. In 2005, VIA Travel was one of the large corporate travel management companies in the Nordic region, but had shown limited organic growth over recent years.
The company was taken private by FSN in 2005, and has since grown impressively to become the largest player in the Nordic market, and expanded into other regions. A total of 11 add-on acquisitions were completed, bringing employee numbers to 1,500 and the number of offices to 120, before the business was sold to a subsidiary of Expedia Inc., creating the world’s fifth largest travel management company in 2012.
Together with management, we transformed VIA Travel from a regional player to a leader in the Nordic market, lifting customer and employee satisfaction.
Frode Strand-Nielsen Managing Partner , FSN Capital
What did the business need?
- Improve margins through streamlining operations
- Consolidate a fragmented market
- Improve online adoption and sales focus
How did private equity backing create lasting value?
- Reorganisation of the sales force
- Acquisition and integration of 11 add-ons
- Divestment of non-core assets
- Expansion into new markets such as Finland and the Philippines
- Investment in technology, particularly in the online and mobile space, driving increased online adoption and bookings
What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?
- Fastest growing Nordic travel management company, with EBITDA and margins growing from NOK81m to NOK204m, and 14% to 26%, respectively
- VIA Travel now the leading Nordic travel management company in the Nordic region
- Exited to Egencia, an Expedia Inc. company, to create fifth largest corporate travel management company in the world