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Brazilian CVC acquires Almundo, competes with Despegar for control of Argentine travel industry

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – Individual market shares within the Argentine travel industry are raising based on CVC’s recent acquisition of Almundo. Now that the Brazilian mammoth has acquired this digital travel agent platform, CVC will faceoff with the Argentine unicorn Despegar as both possess 17 percent of the market, respectively. 

Based on previous coverage, the Brazilian travel group CVC reportedly purchased Almundo for US$77 million. As the acquired company’s majority shareholder since 2011, Grupo Iberostar from Spain facilitated this exchange. 

Ultimately, this is CVC’s third purchase of an Argentine company. In 2018 it bought Bibam Group, in addition to Ola Transatlántica. At the end of the day, these unions give CVC one of the highest market values in the industry today.

Resulting from the buy-out, sources contend that CVC will gain more “digital know-how” to better penetrate the region. While Almundo welcomed this acquisition to scale and expand business capacity with better margins, its masterful use of technology is what captivated CVC leadership.

“Almundo also has important assets, such as technology and its strong digital culture, highly valued by CVC, which is more traditional with a strong offline presence among 1,400 stores,” said founder and CEO of Almundo Juan Pablo Lafosse.

“We developed a platform from end to end, not only in the digital channel but in the physical one, assisted by vendors and bank offices. Now, we will discuss how to use of our platform with the other companies of the group.” 

Needless to say, competition is about to get a whole lot fiercer, especially since CVC allegedly leads the pack by market value and high sales volume. Despegar went as far as to acquire Viajes Falabellas for US$27 million in May to ramp up its operations in Latin America.

CVC’s acquisition of Almundo 

According to El Economista, Lafosse will remain as the agency’s primary leader. Originally, Lafosse launched the company in 1992 under the name Asatej before the name changed in 2014. Grupo Iberostar became a majority shareholder in 2011 and has been calling many of the shots ever since.

Following this development, now Lafosse will be reporting to Luiz Fernando Fogaça, president of the CVC group. All the while, Almundo will remain a separate brand from Bibam, Ola, and other ventures managed by CVC. 

Like a tangled ven diagram of subsidiaries and holding companies, Lafosse stressed to El Cronista that synergies will prevail between entities. This is just part of the neverending consolidation process.

“The consolidation process was taking place in all markets, especially in Argentina since 2018,” said Lafosse. “But there are still many opportunities to grow.”

For the executive, success in 2020 largely depends on the economic policies of the new Argentine president, Alberto Fernández. In the meantime, it will continue to offer its omnichannel sales platform with offices in Argentina and Mexico. It also functions purely online in Brazil and Colombia.

-JA

Jacob Atkins
Jacob Atkins is a journalist specializing in Latin America. He studied journalism and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and has previously reported from Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. When he isn't writing he's most likely hiking or drawing.

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