Edmond de Rothschild, 3i acquire hotel website

Through the purchase of website FastBooking, two private equity firms are looking to take advantage of the growing trend of internet booking.

UK listed private equity group 3i and French investment firm Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners have bought 62 percent of European hotel reservation website FastBooking from Iris Capital and other investors for €35 million ($50 million).

Management is reinvesting to take a 35 percent stake.

A 3i spokeswoman said: “The business is predominantly European, although 15 percent of its activity is in Asia in places such as India, Singapore and Hong Kong.” It is also active in the US.

The trend for travellers to find their accommodation directly on the internet instead of through agents continues to grow, the spokeswoman added.

FastBooking was established in 2000 and has more than 3,500 client hotels worldwide. Two million hotel room bookings are made through the platform each year.

A statement said the two private equity firms would source acquisitions for the company.

Amal Amar, co-founder and chairman of former 3i-backed internet real estate company SeLoger.com, will join FastBooking’s board.