Monday, December 16, 2013

Jasons Travel Media Purchased Out Of Receivership By Bennetts

Media Release 9 December 2013: Iconic travel media company Jasons Travel Media has been purchased by Jasons (2013) Limited, a member of the Bennetts Group, from receivers PPB Advisory, for an undisclosed sum.The family-owned Bennetts Group’s acquisition means that Jasons will continue to trade as a going concern, protecting the interests of tourism industry operators, customers and other stakeholders.  The deal includes 62 magazine publications, the Jasons websites, and more than 4,000 distribution points across New Zealand. 
Bennetts Group plans to immediately focus on restoring the Jasons brand and operation, which has faced challenges since the global economic crisis and meeting the requirements of being a listed company.

Geoff Spong, managing director of Bennetts Group, said Jasons is New Zealand’s leading tourism distribution and specialist media company.

“Jasons is an important part of New Zealand tourism’s industry and delivers a high-quality range of publications. I want to focus on the specific needs of customers by offering an unrivalled blend of print and online content.

“Jasons is synonymous with travel and tourism with over 12 million domestic and international visitors accessing its travel information through print guides, mobile devices and the internet.

“I’m committed to recovering the trust, respect and confidence of staff and New Zealand’s travel and tourism sector. Jasons was once a family-owned business and so it’s fitting that it is once again in the hands of a family business. I can still recall as a child our family having a Jasons map in the car.”

Mr Spong added:  “While our first priority is ensuring business continuity for our customers, we’re also excited about the growth prospects and the opportunities.”

He added: “With tourism numbers now recovering following the global financial crisis, including strong growth from emerging markets, I’m confident Jasons has a bright future in New Zealand and the South Pacific. I would also like the head office to remain in Newmarket, Auckland.”

The new owner is offering all Jasons’ existing 70 staff members employment on existing terms and conditions.    One head office employee is not being offered employment.  The new owner will be evaluating the needs of the business.

“Our first goal is to return to business as normal as soon as possible and to ensure that the business will continue so that the impact on customers, suppliers and staff is minimised.

“Bennetts has been turned around from a loss-maker into a profitable company and I am sure the future for Jasons is positive.”

Sean Woodward, Bennetts Group Lawyer and a Director of the new company, said: “The acquisition has been required to be completed under a very tight timeframe.  This means Bennetts will be assessing the requirements of the business over the coming months and talking with customers and suppliers as soon as possible to ensure that it is business as usual.

“Motel operators, tourists and other customers who had paid reservation money to Jasons should also not be left out of pocket.

These funds were held by Jasons in a separate trust account and are to be transferred to the new owner on the condition that they remain in a separate trust account.  The new Jasons will then pay those funds to the correct party as soon as possible.”

Jasons is the largest tourism brochure distributor in New Zealand. As well as producing and distributing its own printed guides, Jasons services over 1,000 other tourism companies, distributing over 10 million brochures each years across 2,000 brochure display units.

Jasons’ combined print run in 2013 exceeded 4.5 million copies with an estimated readership of more than 11 million people. It is also the South Pacific islands’ number one travel publisher. 

The company established it s online presence in 1996 and more than three million visitors access the Jasons websites every year.

Bennetts owns and operates academic textbook and associated student products stores at eight campuses across New Zealand. Bennetts Bookstores Limited purchased the Bennetts bookshops from the voluntary administrators of Whitcoulls Group Limited in 2011.  The Group also owns the successful Christmas hamper business Santa’s Choice in Canada.

For more information, please contact:
Sean Woodward
Preston Russell Law
Sean.woodward@prlaw.co.nz
027 246 7077

Or
Prue Halstead
Corporate Services Director
Prue.halstead@bennetts.co.nz
0272315931

For service enquires, contact Jasons Customer Care team:
From within New Zealand on +64 9 912 8400
Internationally on +64 9 912 8400
Email:  helpdesk@jasons.com