RCI, the world’s largest vacation exchange network as part of Wyndham Destinations (NYSE:WYND), has acquired travel technology platform Alliance Reservations Network (Alliance) for $92 million. This strategic acquisition will accelerate growth at RCI through an enhanced B2B experience for members and affiliates, as well as bring new benefits for individual and group travel, events, and the corporate meetings market. Alliance’s highly configurable and intelligent booking platform will also provide RCI the ability to offer travelers a wide array of ancillary travel and lifestyle services through the delivery of optimized booking engine, inventory, content and pricing resources.
The acquisition of Alliance’s industry leading closed user group (“CUG”) rate distribution capabilities and group booking platform, Group Productivity Solution (GPS), paves the way for RCI to lead a new era of tailored travel services through its vertical integration and comprehensive customer fulfillment. Alliance’s capabilities are expected to provide more accommodations options and comprehensive travel solutions to RCI affiliates and portfolio brands, such as home sharing membership network Love Home Swap and exchange network DAE.
With Alliance, RCI will broaden its reach beyond the core vacation exchange business via new affinity and commercial partners, while also offering best-in-class white-label services to existing affiliates. The platform’s technology provides RCI with an unprecedented ability to offer a world of experiences. Ideal for the modern traveler, these “door-to-door” services will benefit current and future RCI members and global travelers alike with options for transportation, transfers, excursions, car rentals, and distinctive advantages such as additional access to premium inventory and travel experiences in highly sought-after locations.
“The strategic expansion of our travel products and services is vital to the evolution and growth of RCI, both within and beyond the timeshare industry. The acquisition of Alliance and its best-in-class booking technology enables us to diversify our product line to better serve our membership and affiliate base, increase revenues and drive further growth,” said Olivier Chavy, president of RCI. “Enhancing the RCI travel portfolio with a broad spectrum of new services aligns with our vision to put the world on vacation in a way no other company can. This acquisition will strengthen the satisfaction of our customers through their increased access to a diverse supply of travel products and services.”
Throughout its 45 year history, RCI has pioneered innovation in travel. The company invented the concept of vacation exchange in 1974, offering members increased flexibility and versatility with their vacation ownership experience. Today, RCI offers its 3.8 million members access to more than 4,300 affiliated resorts in approximately 110 countries.
Alliance has been on the forefront of online travel booking since 1995. The company’s technology powers thousands of partner sites and more than 120 million end customers.
“Along with CEO Pete Bertenshaw and our entire staff, I am incredibly honored and excited to join one of the travel industry’s most prestigious companies, RCI,” said Peter Strack, president of Alliance Reservations Network. “While we have realized great success, we are eager to do more. Going forward, we will continue to serve in our current roles to optimize the full potential of this acquisition. Our commitment to innovation, combined with RCI’s global leadership, creates unparalleled synergies and enables us to drive the evolution of the customer experience through travel technology.”
The acquisition, which Wyndham Destinations expects to be accretive to earnings in its first full year, is composed of $45 million in cash and $12 million in equity at closing and $22 million in cash and $13 million in equity over the following 24 months.
Houlihan Lokey served as the exclusive financial advisor to Alliance Reservations Network with Snell & Wilmer LLP serving as legal advisor and Somerset CPA as tax advisor in connection with the transaction. Lowndes Law served as legal advisor to Wyndham Destinations.