The assets of Dreamticket.com parent Selsdon Travel, which collapsed on Monday, are being sold in what is believed to be the largest asset sale in the industry since Cruise Control failed in 2005.
The collapse of the long-haul operator, which specialised in the Indian Ocean, Caribbean and Middle East, left 600 holidaymakers abroad. The joint administrators are seeking bids for the firm’s assets, which include 4,814 forward bookings worth £6.9 million and with a profit margin of £1 million.
The assets also include a database of 395,000 names and more than 80 domain names. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), through the Atol scheme, is making arrangements for people to complete their holidays and return to the UK, and to refund those with forward bookings.
Passengers overseas will have scheduled airline tickets, which are still valid. The CAA warned travellers that hotels could ask them pay again and that they would have to claim the money back later.
Selsdon Travel ceased trading despite the promise of investment from a new backer just three months ago. It was reported in March that private equity investor Hatfield Investments had bought a majority shareholding in the long-haul online specialist and call centre.
Selsdon was said to be the first of about 20 travel firms Hatfield was looking to invest in and, as part of the deal, Levy Benarroch became chief executive and his wife, Lynne, managing director.
The original Dreamticket.com was set up by Lawrence Hunt, now a director at Lowcost Travel Group, and Jo Rzymowska, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s UK general manager. Dreamticket.com ceased operating in 2001 and Selsdon acquired the domain name in 2002.