Flight Centre's acquisition spree in Europe turns to artificial intelligence

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Flight Centre Travel Group has further strengthened its footprint in Europe, taking a minority interest in 3Mundi, a travel and technology company with operations in France, Switzerland and Spain.

The Australian company will initially invest in a 25% interest in the Paris-based business, with put and call agreements to allow Flight Centre to potentially increase its holding to 100%.

3Mundi, founded in 2006 by Jordy Staelen and Simon Renaud, has been the licensee in France and Switzerland for Flight Centre’s global corporate travel management network since 2015.

A short time ago, Flight centre shares were up 2.1% to $36.72.

“There is also opportunity to work with 3Mundi’s team to develop other new products and offerings in the future,” he says.

3Mundi operates a Barcelona-based business travel lab which is developing proprietary artificial intelligence technology and products for the travel industry.

The cost of the acquisition wasn’t announced. 3Mundi is expected to have a turnover Euro 100 million ($A147 million) this financial year.

The acquisition is expected to be formally completed in July.

Flight Centre has been on an acquisition spree, recently acquiring corporate businesses in Germany, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

The latest investment will strengthening Flight Centre’s European presence, which now includes businesses in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France and Switzerland.

The Australian-based Flight Centre is already one of the world’s largest corporate travel managers with turnover of more than $6 billion in 2016.

The company’s current strategy is to expand internationally both organically and via strategic acquisitions.

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