Manchester Airport group in deal to acquire Looking4.com

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The owner of Manchester Airport has acquired a Yorkshire price comparison firm for an undisclosed sum.

MAG, the UK’s largest airport group, it to take on Looking4.com, an online consolidator and price comparison business based in Leeds.

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Looking4.com and its team of 35 people will become part of MAG, and integrate into MAG’s Airport Services division, alongside the group’s dedicated technology division MAG-O, which aims to enhance the end-to-end airport experience for passengers.

A spokesperson said the acquisition will enable MAG to improve its ability to distribute and market its own car parking, airport lounges and fast-track products in addition to those at other airports outside of the group.

Looking4.com specialises in online airport parking price comparison, and also offers deals on private car, train, bus and other types of transfers to a list of global airports.

It has experienced rapid growth over the past years and has gained further international reach in countries such as Japan and Australia, following the acquisition of Melbourne-based Airport Parking Australia in 2017.

Alongside MAG’s own airport services business in the US, MAG-USA, the combined business will be looking to expand its international capabilities.

Last year, almost 800,000 customers used Looking4.com and related websites to book their travel services across Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Oceania & Africa.

Commenting on the deal, Andrew Harrison, CEO, Airport Services, MAG, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming the Looking4.com team into the group.

“In looking to expand and grow our MAG-O business, we wanted to find a company that had a great network of supplier businesses, fantastic distribution channels and top quality tech that would fit in well with what our team is already working on.

“I’m very pleased to say that Looking4.com ticked all those boxes and they are also a like-minded set of people, with a commercial ethos and start up mentality – they’ll fit perfectly into MAG.”

Martin Mansell, managing director of Looking4.com, said: “Having spent the last 10 years developing our software platform and network of partners, we’re delighted that our business has been acquired by MAG and will have the opportunity to take both MAG and Looking4.com to the next level in this digital evolution.

“We’re looking forward to working together, integrating the businesses and accelerating the growth even more.”

RSM provided financial advice to the shareholders of Looking4.com while Clarion provided legal advice.

Nearly five million passengers from Yorkshire fly from Manchester Airport each year.

Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad was the most booked route for Yorkshire passengers, with flights to Lahore in the Punjab province, number 10.

In second place was the Florida city of Orlando, with New York was third and Dubai fourth.

Also in the top 10 were the Mexican party resort of Cancun, Cathay Pacific’s route to Hong Kong, and flights to Singapore, Barbados and Las Vegas.

Manchester Airport also now has direct flights to China, with regular routes to the capital of Beijing, as well as flights linking Northern business with Silicon Valley in the shape of a route to San Francisco, California.