Exclusive deals for luxury travelers are the specialty of Jrtsetter which is a part of the Gilt Groupe. The buzz around the industry is that TripAdvisor has acquired the business from Gilt. TripAdvisor is a popular travel advice and booking site. They have their own brand for travel private sale called SniqueAway and the addition of another leading brand will surely help them consolidate their position in the segment. Gilt had been not happy with the performance of the private travel site as it never contributed even 10% to the total revenue. The infrastructure in terms of human resource was not stable. In fact the employees even staged a mutiny of sorts which resulted in the exodus of senior executives and ultimately the Jetsetter CEO Drew Patterson was asked to step down.
Gilt Had Valued Jetsetter Somewhere Between $30 and $50 Million
Gilt had been trying, since then, to spin off Jetsetter and sell it to the highest bidder. They were valuing the travel site somewhere between $30 million and $50 million. They wanted to get rid of an under performing project which had discontented employees as they had ambitions of taking Gilt public. In fact if things go as per plan they should be going public sometime this year itself. Citigroup executive Michelle Peluso was brought in to lead the Gilt Groupe in December. Her immediate objective was to get the group on track which had faltered in 2012. A part of that objective was to find a buyer for Jetsetter. It is a premium brand that had established itself in a relatively short time.
There Were Other Players in the Fray for the Acquisition
TripAdvisor cofounder and CEO Steve Kaufer was also all praise for the brand and was happy that it will enable them to reach out to customers interested in a members-only private-sale experience. He is excited about the opportunity the acquisition offers. Together with their existing brand they would be in a position to offer amazing value to their significant customer base who are used to staying in some of the best hotels in the world. Till last month other players from the industry including Travelzoo, Expedia, and American Express were rumored to be in the fray for the prized acquisition but it was TripAdvisor that cracked the deal. For the time being Jetsetter will continue operating undisturbed from its New York City office.