Target: Corendon
Advisory sell side: JBR | M&A Advisory
Buyer: 5 Square
Date announced: 2024-01-29

5square, an investment firm, has acquired a strategic minority stake in Corendon, one of the top 5 players in the Dutch travel market. This move concludes a restructuring of ownership, with Corendon now having a single major shareholder after a series of changes over the past year.

Previously, Corendon had four shareholders, including founders Atilay Uslu and Yildiray Karaer, investor Bas Rasker, and CEO Steven van der Heijden. The recent changes saw Van der Heijden selling his 5% stake to Uslu in 2023, and Gunay Uslu taking over as CEO from Van der Heijden.

Investor Rasker also exited Corendon at the end of last year after an eleven-year partnership. Through his investment vehicle, Axivate Capital, Rasker held a significant portion of the shares in Corendon. His exit involved selling his shares to existing shareholders, and the details of the transaction remain undisclosed.

With 5square stepping in as a new major shareholder, Corendon aims to leverage the investment to support its expansion, particularly in the hotel sector. Corendon plans to invest hundreds of millions in large hotel operations, with a focus on locations such as Curacao and potentially the Canary Islands.

While Corendon traditionally specializes in Turkey, it has expanded its reach to various sun destinations in and outside of Europe. The company faced financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic but experienced recovery in 2022, reporting a net profit of €22 million on a revenue of €643 million.

The investment from 5square is expected to facilitate further growth for Corendon, particularly in its hotel ventures. The company's ambitions include acquiring hotels on the Canarian Islands, building on its existing portfolio that includes two hotels in Curacao.

The travel group had previously faced the prospect of being acquired by Sunweb during the pandemic, but the deal fell through due to disagreements on the valuation. The outcome of a legal dispute resulted in both companies continuing independently.

As Corendon moves forward with 5square as a new strategic partner, the collaboration is poised to drive innovation and contribute to the company's continued success in the evolving travel industry.