Central & Eastern Europe expansion

DER Touristik buys Czech tour operator Fischer

from left: Jiri Jelinek (Fischer), Katarina Kohlmayer (KKCG), Sören Hartmann and Ferid Nasr
DER Touristik Group
from left: Jiri Jelinek (Fischer), Katarina Kohlmayer (KKCG), Sören Hartmann and Ferid Nasr

DER Touristik Group is continuing to expand in Central and Eastern Europe with the takeover of Czech tourism group Fischer just months after an acquisition in Romania.

The group's Czech subsidiary Exim Holding plans to acquire Cestovní kancelář FISCHER, subject to the approval of antitrust authorities. The two parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

The deal will double the size of the German group's business in the neighbouring country and secure its market leadership. Exim and Fischer are both profitable and each has turnover of about €230 million. DER Touristik Group will retain the management teams of both companies and their business portfolios under its long-standing multi-brand strategy.

Fischer, which is active in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia, operates under the brand names Fischer (mainstream holidays), Nev-Dama (winter holidays), eTravel (online portal) and Privileq (luxury tours), and also operates 66 travel agencies. The company was originally owned by Czech tourism entrepreneur Vaclav Fischer and most recently by Czech billionaire Karel Komarek’s holding company KKCG.

Exim Holding, part of DER Touristik Group since 2012, operates under two main tour operator brands Exim Tours (Czech Republic and Poland) and Kartago Tours (Slovakia and Hungary). It focuses on package holidays in the Mediterranean region as well as to the Caribbean and other long-haul destinations.

Sören Hartman, CEO of DER Touristik Group, said: "This planned purchase of Fischer is an investment in our future. We are convinced about the growth of the travel market in Eastern Europe and particularly in the Czech Republic. With Fischer, we can optimally develop our travel products in this market and provide our customers with the best possible platforms."

He emphasised: "People have very different travel wishes. We are convinced that local markets need to be served locally. In future, we will also enable Fischer to do this as part of the strong, solid REWE Group and under the umbrella of DER Touristik."

Ferid Nasr, CEO of Exim Holding, added: “I am looking forward to working with future colleagues from Fischer and am convinced of our joint success.” Jiri Jelinek, CEO of Fischer, commented: “Together with Exim, we will be able to make even more impact in the destinations in future. We are joining forces to fulfil our customers’ travel wishes even better than before.”

In July this year, DER Touristik Group bought Romanian tourism businesses Nova Travel, Danubius Travel and Touring Europabus through Exim Holding.