Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 25 February 2019, (AETOSWire): Thomas Cook India Group, the leading integrated travel services group, has announced its acquisition of a 51% stake in Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging (DEI), one of the world’s leading imaging solutions and services providers at an enterprise value of US $40.6 Million (Rs 289 crores). The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
The acquisition marks the Thomas Cook India Group’s entry into an adjacent sector, complementary to its travel & travel related services portfolio and is both PAT and free cash accretive from day one.
Established in 2004, Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging is a technology driven company with offices in Dubai, Singapore, Mumbai, Orlando, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. DEI focuses on imaging solutions for the attractions industry with a robust end-to-end turnkey model by providing equipment, software, talent and operational expertise consultation to its business partners.
With a strong network of over 120 partners, DEI is present at more than 250 venues spanning over 14 countries (UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, China, USA, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Mauritius, Maldives, Egypt, India and Kuwait), and has completed 3.6 million transactions in 2018.
DEI’s partner attractions encompass waterparks, theme parks, aquariums, towers and resorts, including iconic attractions in the UAE (At The Top Burj Khalifa, Ski Dubai, Wild Wadi Waterpark, Warner Brothers, Ferrari World), Singapore (Universal Studios Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Zoo), Hong Kong (Ngong Ping 360), Macau (Macau Tower, The Venetian), Malaysia (Petronas Twin Towers, Resorts World Genting), China (Atlantis Sanya, Chimelong Safari Park), India (Ramoji Film City, Imagica, Wonderla Holidays Ltd.), Maldives (Taj Exotica, W Retreat & Spa, Shangri-La Villingili), Mauritius (St. Regis Mauritius Resort, Shanti Maurice Resort & Spa), Indonesia (Waterbom Bali, Bali Zoo, Trans Studio), Egypt (Ski Egypt, KidZania), Thailand (Ramayana Water Park, Vana Nava Water Jungle), USA (Hard Rock Café New York, Mango’s Tropical Café and Gaylord), to name a few.
In 2017, DEI launched KlassAkt, its school photography arm, and has already partnered with more than 90 schools across the UAE and India, including the prestigious GEMS group of schools in the UAE, the Oberoi International School, Jamnabai Narsee International School and Aditya Birla World Academy in Mumbai, India.
Madhavan Menon, Chairman and Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said, “Our acquisition of DEI, a global imaging solutions and services giant, presents the Thomas Cook India Group an opportunity to participate in an exciting new business space, adjacent to our core travel services portfolio that is both PAT and free cash accretive from day one. DEI is an entrepreneurial success story with an impressive and proven track record of leadership, growth and profitability.”
He elaborated, “With several key markets in common, the addition of Ram and his team at DEI to our family, also presents new synergistic opportunities leveraging our travel services across 25 countries. We see an immediate opportunity for our outbound customers from India and Hong Kong, as well as our inbound and DMS customers across our global network. With the growing demand for experiential travel and social sharing, DEI’s partnerships with iconic attractions, theme parks, water parks and resorts will further enhance our travel services portfolio in line with our philosophy of creating long term shareholder value.”
K.S. Ramakrishnan, founder CEO and President of Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging said, “Our synergy with Thomas Cook India Group in the travel and tourism ecosystem strengthens DEI’s position in our existing markets whilst giving us immense reach to expand. DEI is leading the digital transformation of the guest photo journey through NFC, facial recognition and other state of the art proprietary technology enabling the guest to receive and share their memories in real time. We are proud to be part of a globally renowned travel and tourism leader, the Thomas Cook India Group. Innovation being key to DEI’s core entrepreneurial spirit with focus on long-term partnerships aligns us perfectly with the vision and ethos of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.”
About Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging (DEI): DEI is the global leader in capturing guests’ memorable experiences by providing the highest quality imaging services and solutions. In 15 years of retail operations, DEI has expanded from a single location to over 250 venues across 14 countries. DEI proposed solution is built on ‘enterprise-wide’ technology, focused on aggregating images across attractions, and for every individual guest. This allows for efficient archiving and swift retrieval of images on demand. Continuous innovation has allowed us to deliver the guests’ images from multiple retail points as well as personal consumer devices through our online and mobile app solutions.
About Thomas Cook (India) Limited: Set-up in 1881, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. (TCIL) is the leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company in the country offering a broad spectrum of services that include Foreign Exchange, Corporate Travel, MICE, Leisure Travel, Insurance, Visa and Passport services and E-Business. It operates leading B2C and B2B brands including Thomas Cook, SOTC, TCI, SITA, Asian Trails, Allied T Pro, Australian Tours Management, Desert Adventures, Travel Circle International Limited, Private Safaris East & South Africa.
As one of the largest travel service provider networks headquartered in the Asia-Pacific region, The Thomas Cook India Group spans 25 countries across 5 continents, a team of over 8226 and a combined revenue in excess of Rs. 11,411.6 Cr. (over $ 1.75 Bn).
TCIL has been felicitated with The Best Outbound Tour Operator and Leading Company with Cutting Edge Travel Innovation at the Times Travel Awards 2018, Excellence in Domestic Tour Operations at the SATTE Awards 2018, Best Travel Entrepreneur of The Year at TTG Travel Awards 2017, The French Ambassador’s Diamond Award for Exemplary Achievements in Visa Insurance– 2015 to 2018 and the Condé Nast Traveller – Readers’ Travel Awards from 2011 to 2018.
CRISIL has removed its rating from ‘rating watch with developing implications’ and reaffirmed the rating of ‘CRISIL AA–’ on the long-term bank facilities of TCIL, while reaffirming its ‘CRISIL A1+’ rating on the short-term bank facilities and short- term debt of the Company.
Fairbridge Capital (Mauritius) Limited, a subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited promotes TCIL by holding 66.94% of its paid up capital and is responsible for the execution of acquisition and investment opportunities.
About Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited: Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited is a holding company which, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment management. Founded in 1985 by the present Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Prem Watsa, the company is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Its common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol FFH and in U.S. dollars under the symbol FFH.U.
About Quess Corp Limited: TCIL owns 49.02% of Quess Corp Limited, a provider of integrated business services.
About Subsidiaries of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.: Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited, wholly owned subsidiary of TCIL is engaged in time share and resort business.
SOTC Travel Limited (Formerly known as SOTC Travel Private Limited) wholly owned subsidiary of TCIL is a leading travel and tourism company active across various travel segments including Leisure Travel, Incentive Travel and Business Travel.
TCIL owns 100% of TC Forex Services Limited (Formerly known as Tata Capital Forex Limited) (TC Forex) and TC Travel Services Limited (Formerly known as TC Travel and Services Limited) (TC Travel). TC Forex offers travel related foreign exchange products including Currency notes, Travel Cards and Traveller’s cheques and TC Travel offers a wide range of services including Airline ticketing, Booking Hotel accommodation, Visa and Passport facilitation, Travel insurance and more.