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StudentUniverse, the world’s leading travel booking service for students and youth, today announced that it has been acquired by Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT), one of the world’s largest travel agency groups. Flight Centre has more than 30 brands in 11 countries in its portfolio.

Flight Centre’s global strength and infrastructure will allow StudentUniverse to grow within existing markets, and scale worldwide, to further dominate the student and youth travel segment. Flight Centre, who has already gained solid momentum and expanded its presence in youth and student travel, will now have a platform for the development of a youth strategy targeting 18-26 year-olds worldwide.

The student and youth market is one of travel’s fastest-growing sectors. Young travelers are critical to the entire industry and StudentUniverse has a proven track record in the space. They understand the demands of a young, tech-savvy user base and have incredible roots in technology,” said Dean Smith, president of FCTG Americas. “Combining their technology prowess with our global team and resources, I am confident that together we will change the course of student and youth travel.”

Flight Centre Travel Group consists of more than 30 brands (including Liberty Travel, GOGO Vacations, Cruiseabout and FCm) with an annual turnover of more than $17 billion, employs 15,000 people worldwide, and has been listed on the Australian Securities Exchange for two decades. Its rapidly expanding network extends throughout Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, South Africa, Hong Kong, India, China, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

This is an extremely exciting time for StudentUniverse. Working alongside a global team with a phenomenal track record, we will have the resources to build an even bigger and better service,” said Atle Skalleberg, StudentUniverse CEO. “Our team will eventually help launch web and mobile services for millions of customers in dozens of countries and the millions of young travellers that use our service every year will now have access to more travel deals than ever.”

StudentUniverse will continue operating as an independent entity. CEO Atle Skalleberg will report to Dean Smith, president of FCTG Americas.

Source: Business Wire