Hellman Friedman Buys Web Reservations International in Over 200 Million Euro Deal

Warren Hellman

In a deal which has reportedly cost Hellman Friedman over 200 Million Euro, the American firm has purchased Dublin based Web Reservation International, widely considered one of the country's most profitable online ventures. Among the main beneficiaries of the deal are WRI's two founders Thomas Kennedy and Ray Nolan.

Since it’s founding in 1999, WRI has expanded at a remarkable speed and stayed firm in many difficult situations, including the dotcom burst which happened that the beginning of the current decade. Headquartered in Dublin, the firm boasts 93 employees and has offices in Shanghai and Sydney.

It was only in 2007 that WRI experienced its first major setback in the form of Boo.com, a former fashion portal which the company reintroduced as a travel site. Within a mere 18 months, the venture swallowed over $135 Million of investors' funds but failed to generate enough revenues.

Among WRI's most notable and award winning ventures are Hostelworld.com, which has U2 manager Paul McGuiness and business associate Trevor Bowen on its elite list of shareholders, hostels.com, bedandbreakfastworld.com and trav.com. Each of these ventures has been credited with generating remarkable revenues all throughout.

With the acquisition, Hellman Friedman is looking at tapping into one of the world's most profitable markets, on the back of one of the strongest ventures.