PE-backed Northstar Travel Group buys travAllianceMedia

Northstar Travel Group has acquired travAllianceMedia, a marketing services, digital media, event and information company serving the retail travel community in North America. No financial terms were disclosed. Progress Partners Inc served as financial adviser to travAlliancemedia on the deal. Northstar Travel Group is backed by EagleTree Capital.

PRESS RELEASE

SECAUCUS, N.J., Oct. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Northstar Travel Group today announced it has acquired travAlliancemedia, a leading marketing services, digital media, event and information company serving the retail travel community in North America. travAlliancemedia is the owner of well-known brands including TravelPulse.com, TravelPulse Canada, Agent at Home, Travel Agent Academy, Agent Studio, and a portfolio of custom content solutions, marketing services, and software and marketing tools for the retail travel community.

“The addition of travAlliancemedia’s well-known brands serving the retail, home-based and independent travel advisory market complement Northstar’s leadership brands including Travel Weekly and TravelAge West serving the retail travel industry,” said Thomas Kemp, Chairman & CEO of Northstar Travel Group. “The acquisition provides Northstar with an unparalleled portfolio of marketing services, online media, events, and marketing tools serving the travel advisory community and connecting travel suppliers and destinations to this audience,” said Kemp.

“We are thrilled to complete this merger of the two leading information and marketing services companies serving the retail travel market,” said Mark Murphy, the founder and CEO of travAlliancemedia. “We know the Northstar team and brands very well and believe this is a great combination of talent, complementary brands, and online services to better serve the travel advisory market,” added Murphy, who will become an advisor to the Northstar and travAlliancemedia combination.

The travAlliancemedia portfolio includes the following brands:
TravelPulse.com: A leading online brand serving the travel advisor community in the US with approximately one million monthly visitors. TravelPulse connects destinations, travel suppliers and travel advisors with real time information and marketing services.
TravelPulse Canada, TravelPulse Quebec, and TravelPulse Mexico: The leading online information sites serving the Canadian and Mexican travel advisory communities.
Agent at Home: The leading brand serving the home-based and independent travel advisor community with information, marketing services and events.
Travel Agent Academy: The leading online education platform providing travel advisors with eLearning certification on travel destinations and suppliers.
Agent Studio: A SaaS business that gives travel advisors the ability to build, on demand, custom websites that also feature an integrated marketing platform. This enables travel advisors to connect and market their services to clients and prospects with offers, online information and news about the latest happenings in travel.

“The travAlliancemedia portfolio is a perfect strategic fit with Northstar’s core information and marketing services brands serving the retail travel industry,” said Bob Sullivan, President of Northstar’s Travel Group. “”We are very excited about the growth opportunities in Canada and we will work with John Kirk to determine what Northstar brands and products we may introduce in Canada,” added Sullivan.

Northstar received legal advice from Jones Day. Blank Rome LLP served as legal counsel to travAlliancemedia. Progress Partners, Inc. served as exclusive financial advisor to travAlliancemedia.

About Northstar Travel Group
Northstar Travel Group is the leading B-to-B information and marketing solutions company serving all segments of the travel industry including leisure/retail, corporate/business travel, corporate and sports meetings, incentives, hospitality, and travel technology.

Northstar is the owner of well-known brands including Travel Weekly, TravelAge West, Travel Weekly China, Business Travel News, Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, Incentive, M&C China, Travel42, Axus Travel App, and Web in Travel.

The company produces more than 85 face-to-face events in 13 countries in retail travel, hospitality, corporate travel, travel technology, sports travel, and the meetings & incentive industry. Leadership events include the Phocuswright Conference, ALIS, The Business Travel Show, the largest corporate travel event in Europe, The Meetings Show, the largest meetings industry event in the UK, Web in Travel, CruiseWorld, Global Travel Marketplace, and TEAMS, the leading sports travel event.

In addition, Northstar owns Phocuswright, the leading research, business intelligence, and event producer serving the travel technology industry.

Northstar Travel Group owns the Burba Hotel Network, the leading producer of hotel investment events globally, including ALIS, the largest hotel investment conference in the world produced with the American Hotel & Lodging Association in Los Angeles each year.

Northstar is also the majority shareholder in Inntopia, the leading SaaS e-commerce software, CRM database marketing and predictive analytics business serving the mountain destination, golf, activities, hospitality, and specialty destination travel markets.

Based in Secaucus, NJ, the company has offices in New York, NY; Stowe, VT; Denver, CO; Edwards, CO; Burlington, VT; Los Angeles, CA; Costa Mesa, CA; Lombard, IL; and global offices in London, Singapore, Beijing, and Shanghai.

Northstar Travel Group is owned by funds managed by EagleTree Capital.

About EagleTree Capital
EagleTree Capital, formerly Wasserstein Partners, is a New York based private equity and investment firm. It manages capital on behalf of global institutional and individual investors. EagleTree’s private equity funds invest primarily in the media and business services, consumer products, and water and industrial sectors. For more information, visit www.eagletree.com.

About travAlliancemedia
travAlliancemedia, based in Westampton, New Jersey, is a leading marketing services, information, event and online media company serving the travel advisory market. Mark Murphy, the well-known travel industry commentator and entrepreneur, launched the business as Performance Media in 2002 and rebranded the company in 2011 as travAlliancemedia.

About Progress Partners
Progress Partners is a Boston and New York-based boutique M&A investment bank that works with technology companies, with sector focus in vertical categories including martech, adtech, fintech, ecommerce, and traveltech. Since 2002, we have aimed to work with exceptional entrepreneurial teams on solutions for growth. Our firm serves buyers and sellers of high growth companies to complete M&A transactions, raise debt or equity capital, as well as, develop and implement strategic growth plans.