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Vacalians: conquering Europe

After the takeover of the Dutch company VACANCESELECT-SELECTCAMP, VACALIANS continues to develop with the acquisition of the group AMAC, formerly COMPAGNIE DE BEL AIR.

In February, VACALIANS announced it had secured financing for its strategic plan Cap 2020 by raising 345 million euros. The refinancing operation of its debt was intended to accelerate the the group's expansion in Europe and participate in the consolidation of the sector.

AMAC completes the portfolio of the holiday brand TOHAPI with 8 upscale campgrounds and 3,800 pitches/sites. This new collection of camping-clubs unites all the exceptional sites of the group VACALIANS under the brand AMAC, where offers of premium and personalized services will be deployed.

The reinforced direct distribution now represents 70% of revenue, with a perfect balance between France (50%) and the rest of Europe (50%).

The operation is not subject to the authorization of French competition authorities and sustainable transform the group's profile, making it the leading European outdoor hotel operator in terms of revenues (245 M€ pro forma), number of destinations (1,400 sites), pitches/sites (31,000) and clients (+3 million per year).

This acquisition took place simultaneously with the validation of the takeover by the Dutch, German and Austrian competition authorities of VACANCESELECT-SELECTCAMP. These two operations make it possible for VACALIANS to become the only European operator that is simultaneously multi-country, omni-channel and omni-segment.

VACALIANS' activity is now divided into a core business as Operator of Own and Franchised Camp Sites (50% of turnover), a second business of Mobile Home & Glamping Tents on partner sites (34% of turnover) and a third business as On Line Camping Agent for independent campsites (15% of turnover), with BtoB services representing less than 1% of activity.

This internal and external growth dynamic has enabled VACALIANS to multiply its turnover by 2.5 over the last five years.

Christophe ALAUX, Chairman of the Management Board of VACALIANS, comments on the challenges of the transaction: "The acquisition of AMAC is a timely addition to the VACALIANS Group's portfolio on the high-end segment, the most dynamic segment in tourism.

This transaction follows the acquisition of VACANCESELECT-SELECTCAMP and consolidates VACALIANS' leading position in our industry. The group now has a very resilient business model on the market: a complete brand portfolio, the broadest product and service offering and a unique distribution and loyalty platform in Europe. VACALIANS is perfectly positioned to continue its development."

Sami R/FA/, Managing Director of AMAC, concludes: "This operation is an excellent opportunity for the development of the AMAC brand. Over the years, we have developed a unique positioning in the high-end segment of the outdoor hotel market. VACALIANS' strength and expertise in direct distribution, as well as its current portfolio of high-end sites, will strengthen and accelerate brand development and recognition. It is a perfect alliance for both groups with great prospects for the future."

VACALIANS is advised by Oddo BHF Corporate Finance, Clifford Chance, Baker McKenzie, Roland Berger and PWC Transaction Services. AMAC is advised by Natixis Partners, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and M.H.R.

At the Global Lodging Forum, Christophe Alaux, said: "My thinking is that camps are mass market products. A campground often means 20-30 hectares and 2,000-3,000 people. They are big leisure factories. I think there is a market for boutique camping. In Spain there are ephemeral rooms set in nature. Upscale is not necessary because it is important to remain in the market, but with something that is more in keeping with nature, outdoors, something that is neither camping nor a hotel." 

An innovative vision of camping and its potential that makes it possible to foresee the group's future growth on the outdoor hotel market.

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