Zuji was established in 2002 as a joint venture between Travelocity and 15 airlines operating from Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and India to target the emerging OTA opportunity. In 2012, Zuji was sold to Webjet Limited of Australia. Looking to capitalise on Zuji’s brand-name, long standing market presence and broad-based partner relationships, Uriel Group acquired Zuji from Webjet in 2017.
Today, licensed and operating from Hong Kong and Singapore, Zuji offers travelers 200,000 weekly flights on 400 airlines, and a choice of 300,000+ hotels.
Zuji was a first acquisition for the Uriel Group management team and took Uriel into the highly competitive on-line travel agency market dominated by US, Chinese and UK OTA’s. Zuji was identified as an underperforming business available for acquisition, with a rich history in Asia-Pacific’s travel market.
Success depended on securing Zuji at a competitive valuation, and quick execution of a turnaround plan, driven by top calibre management, recruited from leading OTA’s.
- Due diligence and acquisition negotiations.
- Financing of the acquisition/raising funds for general corporate purposes with the issuance of a US$60m, 3 year bond.
- Overhaul of management team including recruitment of leading talent from leading international OTAs.
- Development and implementation of revised corporate strategy and profit-improvement programme designed to reposition Zuji and set it on a path towards rapid and profitable growth.
- Major expansion of customer offering across all aspects of the customer journey – flights, hotels, car-hire, activities, as well as offering the ability to earn reward-U points on holiday bookings.
- Update and refresh of Zuji’s branding and market positioning.
- Development and implementation of plan to overhaul, simplify and upgrade all aspects of Zuji’s technology platform which had been underinvested for many years.