Wirtualna Polska Holding, a company listed on the Polish stock exchange, is to acquire Szallas Group, which has become an international player in recent years and is behind the Hungarian szallas.hu website. The Warsaw-based e-commerce and media giant is expected to pay €82 million to the owners.
The Polish company already owns some significant regional media and e-commerce portals, but its focus has been mainly on Poland. However, the acquisition of the Szallas Group enriches its portfolio with several new countries and products.
„The change will only be noticeable to the extent that we serve our existing and future partners with more and better services, and we provide even more accommodation options to our guests,” József Szigetvári, CEO of Szallas Group, told Forbes.
The transaction, worth €82 million (almost HUF 33 billion), is expected to be finalized during the autumn after completing the clearance processes. The money will go to the current owners of Szallas Group: PortfoLion and some private individuals.
After its foundation in 2007, szallas.hu quickly became one of Hungary’s leading accommodation reservation websites. PortfoLion acquired the company in 2015 with funds from EXIM and OTP. The company made acquisitions first in Poland and then in Romania and Czechia.
The group’s turnover has multiplied through acquisitions and steady growth; the value of annual bookings increased from €20 million per year before the investment to €200 million between June 2021 and June 2022. In the last year, more than a million bookings have been made on the group’s sites. Travelers can choose from around 87,000 accommodations which could rise to over 100,000 with the current transaction.