UK-based Gray Dawes Group has established a follow-the-sun set-up with the acquisition of Florida travel management business Express Travel.
The deal – the TMC’s 13th acquisition – takes Gray Dawes’ combined turnover to more than £350 million and employee numbers towards 300. It was ranked the 13th largest TMC in the UK last year.
By bringing Express Travel into the fold, its global clients will now benefit from a “seamless high-touch, high-tech experience as we follow the sun from the UK to America to Australia”, said the TMC.
Gray Dawes acquired Australian TMC MP Travel earlier this year in its first step towards a global model and launched operations in North America in February with the appointment of Michel Botbol and Carolann Martini.
Express Travel is one of the largest Hispanic companies in the US and is ranked among the top ten women-owned businesses in the state of Florida, according to the organisation. Established in 1989, it also offers leisure travel, cruise and meetings and incentive travel in addition to corporate travel.
Express Travel joint managing partners Olga Ramudo and Cristina Jacomino
will both stay on at the company, with Ramudo becoming SVP Florida and
Latam for Gray Dawes and Jacomino assuming the role of director of luxury travel.
Both Express Travel and MP Travel will be rebranded to Gray Dawes in due course.
“Our clients increasingly want global solutions, even the smaller ones. They’re taking us on the journey,” said Suzanne Horner, Gray Dawes Group CEO. “We’ve been very successful picking up businesses in the UK and integrating them. We know how to do that well. Now we’re doing that overseas, earlier this year in Australia and now in America.”
She continued: “Our expansion into the USA is incredibly exciting. It represents the next step in our global growth plan and closes the circle on our unique service delivery strategy. Out of hours, for example, is simply no longer a thing for Gray Dawes; we are now always on – there for our clients, where they need us, when they need us.”
Horner added that the company “is fantastically placed, both financially and from a skills perspective, to really drive our recovery while developing all parts of the business and new ventures.”
The TMC will begin rolling out its new single sign-on proprietary travel management platform, called Portal, later this year.