Less than a year after the IPO was valued at close to NIS 1 billion, Thelma Tourism has internalized the corona crisis and the enormous damage of the epidemic to the tourism industry.
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Calcalist has learned that the Shlomo Group, which is controlled by the Schmelzer family, is in talks to purchase 50% of the shares of Thelma Tourism. Shlomo Holdings is expected to flow in two batches, if the negotiations mature into a total transaction, up to NIS 70-80 million per Thelma. In the first phase, about NIS 30 million and the rest according to future performance, subject to the company recovering from the crisis. A value of 800 million to a billion shekels to which she aspired in the IPO.
For the Shlomo Group, managed by Asi Schmelzer, this is a deal that is an opportunity to expand into the field of tourism. This area is synergistic with the area of car rental, which is concentrated in the subsidiary Shlomo Sixt and is a major activity in the group.
In addition to car rental and leasing activities, the group is active in the field of shipyards with maintenance in Israeli shipyards, in the field of industry in the subsidiary Afcon, and in the fields of real estate and insurance.
Thelma Tourism, owned by Thelma and Erez Shmol, operates 37 branches and 500 employees. The company has made a series of acquisitions in the past two years, designed to increase its volume of activity significantly before the IPO – including the acquisition of the “Alice” website, which is considered the peak of online ticket sales, and the Smartair website.
Thelma also acquired full ownership of American Express Travel (Histor-Altiv), which owns the operations of American Express Israel Travel, for a sum of NIS 130 million. However the transaction is frozen and not completed.
The Shlomo and Thelma groups refused to comment.
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