Wirtualna Polska Buys Szallas Group for EUR 82 mln
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One of the most significant Central European digital acquisitions in the tourism sector in recent years has been completed: the Szallas Group, which also operates Szallas.hu, has been acquired by Polish company Wirtualna Polska for EUR 82 million, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
In an era of global digital platform penetration, it is rare for a smaller player to successfully take on the giants. Szallas.hu, founded in 2007, was successful in this respect: it showed how to survive as a Hungarian player alongside the biggest global players through international acquisitions and fast and high-quality local services.
Now operating as the Szallas Group, the group was noticed by Wirtualna Polska Holding S.A., owner of several major media and e-commerce portals in Poland and the region, because of its acquired market position and the model it applied effectively. The Polish company acquired Szallas Group, which has been majority-owned by PortfoLion Capital Partners since 2015, for EUR 82 mln in a transaction closed on November 3, opening the door to further expansion in Central and Eastern Europe.
The successful transaction was supported by a legal team with a regional presence and expertise in EU law since 2019. BLS-CEE Law Firm, providing a broad spectrum of legal services in the region, from HR to IT issues and GDPR, acted as legal advisor to the sale.
Erzsébet Szalay, partner of BLS-CEE Law Firm, said that the smooth cooperation over the years has enabled them to effectively coordinate the legal services provided in five countries, while carrying out day-to-day tasks, also for the common goal of a successful acquisition.
József Szigetvári, CEO of Szallas Group, stressed that the regional experience of BLS-CEE Law Firm will continue to be relied upon in the implementation of the group's planned growth.
With the closing of the transaction, the development of Szallas.hu and the entire group will gain new momentum: the new Polish owner intends to further build up its accommodation portfolio with the help of the Hungarian management, relying on its know-how.
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