Holiday comparison sites complete merger ahead of anticipated industry upturn

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Holiday comparison brands TravelSupermarket and Icelolly.com have joined to become Ice Travel Group.

The deal, first proposed in mid-May, has now completed, with former Icelolly CEO Richard Singer becoming CEO of the new business.

TravelSupermarket, part of Moneysupermarket.com, is based in Ewloe, near Chester, while IceLolly is headquartered in Leeds.

Both brands are to be retained within the new group.

Singer says that joining up the teams and resources will benefit consumers and the industry: “We will be able to help more British holidaymakers find and save money on their perfect holiday. By combining we can create and deliver a stronger and broader outbound and UK offer to benefit consumers and our partners.”

He added: “The deal is well-timed. Many people have not been able to get away for a long time. But, recently, holidaymakers from the UK have been steadily returning to the beaches and cities in Europe.

“Outbound demand is at last coming back and bookings are increasing for this and next year.

“I am thrilled to be leading the team at Ice Travel Group and look forward to developing the two brands as the travel industry recovers.”

MoneySupermarket Group is the major shareholder of the new business. Palatine Private Equity and management, which has been involved with Icelolly for a number of years, hold a minority interest.

Mark Gracey, director of corporate development at MoneySupermarket Group and non-executive director of the Ice Travel Group, said: “I am really pleased that TravelSupermarket and Icelolly have agreed this partnership.

“The new independent, travel-focused group will foster rapid innovation and continue the pioneering work of both brands which support choice and transparency for UK travellers.”

Andy Lees, non-executive director of Icelolly and partner at Palatine Private Equity, said: “We are delighted that this deal has finalised. We’ve been working with Richard and his team for a number of years now and we know that they and the combined team will make a great success of this new venture.”

TravelSupermarket was founded in 2004 and is based in Ewloe and London. it helps UK consumers find and save money on holidays, flights, hotels, car hire and travel extras such as travel insurance and airport parking.

Icelolly was founded in 2005 and is based in Leeds. It is a travel intermediary specialising in package holiday comparison and deals.