Dubai: Thomas Cook India Group, an integrated travel services group on Monday acquired a 51 per cent stake in Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging (DEI), a Dubai headquartered imaging solutions and services provider at an enterprise value $40.6 million (Dh149 million).
The acquisition marks the Thomas Cook India Group’s entry into an adjacent sector, complementary to its travel & travel-related services portfolio. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
Established in 2004, Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging is a technology driven company with offices in Dubai, Singapore, Mumbai, Orlando, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.
DEI focuses on imaging solutions for the attractions industry by providing equipment, software, talent and operational expertise consultation to its business partners.
In 15 years of retail operations, DEI has expanded from a single location to over 250 venues across 14 countries. With a strong network of over 120 partners, DEI is present at more than 250 venues spanning over 14 countries and has completed 3.6 million transactions in 2018.
DEI’s partner attractions encompass waterparks, theme parks, aquariums, towers and resorts, including iconic attractions in the UAE (At The Top Burj Khalifa, Ski Dubai, Wild Wadi Waterpark, Warner Brothers, Ferrari World), Singapore (Universal Studios Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Zoo), Hong Kong (Ngong Ping 360), Macau (Macau Tower, The Venetian), and more.
In 2017, DEI launched KlassAkt, its school photography arm, and has already partnered with more than 90 schools across the UAE and India.
“Our acquisition of DEI, a global imaging solutions and services giant, presents the Thomas Cook India Group an opportunity to participate in an exciting new business space, adjacent to our core travel services portfolio,” said Madhavan Menon, Chairman and Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India).
DEI was incorporated in 2005 with a revenue of $1 million. In 2018 the company recorded $76 million in revenue and projects it to exceed $100 million this year.
“Our earnings before tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) have grown 3-fold over the past 3 years from $2m in 2016 to $6 million in 2018. Our Target is to grow the EBITDA a further 3-fold to $18 million by 2020 and exceed $30 million by 2022,” said K.S. Ramakrishnan, founder CEO and President of Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging.
Post-acquisition, Thomas Cook India expects to expand DEI’s to newer markets leveraging on its travel services across 25 countries. “Our synergy with Thomas Cook India Group in the travel and tourism ecosystem strengthens DEI’s position in our existing markets whilst giving us immense reach to expand,” said Ramakrishnan.