PRAGUE, May 31 (Reuters) - German retail and travel group Rewe is taking over leading Czech tour operator Exim Tours to boost its presence in central and eastern Europe.
“This is an important step in our expansion strategy,” Rewe tourism head Norbert Fiebig said on Thursday about the deal to buy 51 percent of Exim Tours for an undisclosed price.
“Partnership with Exim Tours is the gateway for us to the most important emerging markets in eastern Europe.”
Travel groups such as European leader TUI Travel and Thomas Cook have been carrying out acquisitions in emerging markets, with both expanding into Russia recently.
Exim Tours, which specialises in taking Czechs, Hungarians, Poles and Slovaks to Mediterranean beaches, had revenue of 225 million euros ($279 million) last year.
Rewe, which said it had 4.5 billion euros revenue from tourism last year to make it the second-biggest German tour operator, already operates retail stores in the Czech Republic under the Billa and Penny brands. ($1 = 0.8069 euro) (Reporting by Robert Mueller; Writing by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Dan Lalor)