Kuoni Group / VFS Global

Sales: CHF 448 million in 2017
EBITDA: CHF 104 million in 2017
Employees: 5,767

EQT VII acquired Kuoni Group, a leading service provider to the global travel industry based in Switzerland, in May 2016. The main rationale for acquiring Kuoni was to position its three businesses (GTA, GTS and VFS Global) separately to optimally support Kuoni’s further development. After finding new owners to GTA and GTS EQT’s main focus is on expanding VFS Global’s clear market leadership.

VFS Global is an industry pioneer and the global number one provider of visa process outsourcing services for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. The company is also experienced in identity and citizen services. It has a differentiated market position with leading technologies, infrastructure and capabilities as well as long-term customer relationships and contracts. Its main responsibilities include security checks, information dissemination and form checks for visa applicants, as well as the recording of biometric data and identity verification.

 Visit VFS Global

Market trends and drivers

Outsourced visa applications will continue to grow at over 10% per annum over the coming years driven by a growing number of international travelers and an ongoing trend of governments to outsource visa application processes. For VFS Global, additional growth could be generated from leveraging its customer relationships (57 governments) and global infrastructure (more than 2,400 Visa Application Centers) to expand into adjacent areas such as Verification and Citizen Services.

Investment potential

VFS Global perfectly fits EQT’s principles of investing in market leading, founder led, high-quality companies and supporting them to become even stronger and more sustainable for the future. EQT, together with the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation as owners, intends to enable VFS Global to realize its full potential by leveraging its market leadership position in the continuously growing visa process outsourcing market as well as enhancing growth and diversification through new business such as Identity and Citizen Services, Verification and Attestation as well as B2C visa-related offerings. Moreover, EQT strives for further digitalization of visa processes to create a scalable platform and additional barriers to entry and will provide VFS Global with access to capital to pursue strategically important acquisitions.

All figures are for VFS Global