Independent pan-European travel management company Chambers Travel Group has announced it is to be acquired by Corporate Travel Management (CTM), effective 1 January 2015.
The deal is reportedly worth up to £39m over a three-year period and will see Chambers become the European anchor for CTM, giving the Australia-headquartered corporation a fundamental foothold in this market. The agreement also includes elected share ownership of CTM for Chambers CEO Chris Thelen (pictured) and the senior management team, all of whom retain their current positions.
Founded in 1994, CTM has grown to become one of Australia’s largest global travel management companies with an annual turnover of over £1bn. It was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in late 2010 and has since made significant acquisitions in the USA (namely R&A Travel, Travelcorp, USTravel and Avia International Travel), as well as purchasing Westminster Travel in Asia. The acquisition of Chambers Travel Group gives CTM a scalable presence in seven countries in Europe, the last key region in the company’s global strategy, meaning CTM will operate in 46 cities across 23 countries worldwide, employing 1,800 staff.
“Our aspiration is to grow Chambers into a much larger European business and we believe that by joining forces with CTM and becoming their new European regional headquarters, we will be able to accelerate that aspiration,” said Thelen who noted his company had worked with CTM on a number of global bids over the last 10 years. “There is a huge opportunity to benefit from each other’s strengths,” he added.
CTM MD Jamie Pherous said: “We are delighted to have Chambers Travel Group become our anchor point in the UK and Europe to lead our future growth in this region. This partnership culminates a decade of successfully working together, allowing a seamless transition for our respective management teams.”
Pherous added that the agreement met CTM’s strict acquisition criteria. “Chambers Travel Group possesses a capable and passionate management team; the company is a leader in corporate travel in the UK and Europe; enjoys high client and staff retention; and will have significant ownership in CTM via CTD stock.”
Chambers Travel Group will continue to trade under its own name for the foreseeable future and all 214 employees will retain their positions. The agency expects to continue as a member of the GlobalStar network, with a view to developing a relationship with the whole CTM group.
Thelen joined the company as commercial director in 1999, leading a management buy-out in 2004. He became CEO and majority shareholder. Chambers now has an annual turnover of £146m and is based in London with offices in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.
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