LONDON, January 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Two of Europe's best tailor-made travel companies join forces to build the leading, premium, tailor-made tour operator in the English-speaking world
- Voyageurs du Monde acquires 60% of Original Travel, one of the UK's fastest growing bespoke travel companies
- Voyageurs du Monde, listed on Euronext (Paris), is the leading tailor-made travel company in France with a market share of 40%, and a significant international network
- Original Travel and its existing management team will become Voyageurs du Monde's partner and platform for organic and acquisitive growth in the English-speaking world
- Original Travel's already excellent customer service will be further enhanced by accessing Voyageurs du Monde's range of high-touch client services
Voyageurs du Monde, France's leading tailor-made travel company, is pleased to announce it has made a significant strategic investment in acquiring a 60% stake in Original Travel, one of the UK's fastest growing bespoke travel companies.
The acquisition follows a 12-month review of the UK market by Voyageurs du Monde, as it sought an investment opportunity to further expand its international operations into key English-speaking markets. Original Travel and its existing management team will become Voyageurs du Monde's partner and platform for organic and acquisitive growth in the English-speaking world.
Original Travel has experienced uninterrupted growth since its establishment in 2003. In contrast to the bespoke travel sector, which only recently returned to pre-recession levels, multi-award winning Original Travel has achieved six times revenue growth since 2007. In 2016 revenue grew more than 20% to £15m, and its English-speaking client base outside the UK has more than doubled in the last year. Post Voyageurs du Monde's investment, Original Travel will build on this growth both organically and through acquisition in key English-speaking markets.
Voyageurs du Monde S.A. is listed on the Euronext (ALVOYAGEURS DU MONDE) and is currently trading around its all-time high, with a market capitalisation of c.€260m. In 2015 the company reported revenue of €362m and EBITDA of €21m. Voyageurs du Monde is majority owned by its management team, Alain Capestan, Jean Francois Rial, Lionel Habasque, Frederic Moulin and Loic Minvielle.
Original Travel was founded in 2003 by Nick Newbury, Tom Barber and Alastair Poulain with the aim of combining the personal insights and exceptional knowledge of highly experienced travel consultants to create memorable holidays and experiences.
Today, Original Travel's team of 50 has travelled to over 160 countries on fact finding missions and created nearly 50,000 bespoke itineraries. These range from Big Short Breaks through to lengthy sabbaticals, such as an 18-month long grand tour of the globe which wove together 92 itineraries, including learning to photograph snow leopards in Ladakh and diving South Africa's famous Sardine Run.
Voyageurs du Monde has acquired a 60% stake in Original Travel by acquiring the shares of all non-employee shareholders in Original Travel, including those held by private equity company Hotbed. The remaining 40% interest will continue to be held by Original Travel's existing management team, which includes two of Original Travel's founders, Nick Newbury and Tom Barber, along with Neill Ghosh, Director of Sales and Service.
Original Travel will be adding further to its "Life is in the Detail" proposition over the coming weeks, building on the services offered by Voyageurs du Monde: for example, Original Travel will have access to Voyageurs du Monde's team of English-speaking concierges, which are located locally across the entirety of its international network. The Concierge service will give Original Travel's clients another local helping hand to further enhance their holidays, in addition to the UK-based office assistance and 24/7 emergency service it currently offers alongside its on-the-ground teams in each of its destinations.
Original Travel's relationship with Voyageurs du Monde has already inspired the launch of its latest customer service proposition, further improving on Original Travel's already high service levels.
Original Travel's brand, operational management and team structure will continue unchanged. The Board of Directors of Original Travel will change however, and will be: Nick Newbury, Chief Executive Officer; Tom Barber, Chief Product Officer; Neill Ghosh, Director of Sales and Service; Alain Capestan, MD, Voyageurs du Monde Group; and Jean-Francois Rial, CEO Voyageurs du Monde.
Commenting on the acquisition, Jean Francois Rial, CEO of Voyageurs du Monde, said: "We are very excited about our investment in Original Travel. We have been hugely impressed by their market-leading client service levels, their innovative product and 14-year unbroken growth profile. We believe the Original Travel management team are the best placed team in the UK to help us develop the leading bespoke travel company in the English-speaking world."
Nick Newbury, CEO, Original Travel, said: "Voyageurs du Monde is a phenomenally successful business and we were flattered to have been approached. Voyageurs du Monde's international ambitions, highly innovative approach to client service, product and technology will be transformational for the development of Original Travel and our team. Our clients can rest assured that it will very much be business as usual and they will continue to receive the high levels of service and innovative product that they have come to expect from Original Travel. Partnering with a business that shares our ethos is a hugely significant development as we embark on the next step of our corporate growth."
About Voyageurs du Monde (http://www.voyageursdumonde.com):
Voyageurs du Monde is the leading specialist in bespoke and adventure travel in France. Voyageurs du Monde's strong performance since its inception has been built through a combination of organic and external growth. It has a strong track record in acquiring, integrating and growing add-on brands and organisations both in France and internationally. Voyageurs du Monde owns hotels in South Africa, Brazil, Morocco and owns and operates a boat on the Nile in Egypt, an old steam-boat, "The Steamship Sudan", built at the end of the 19th century by Thomas Cook. In France, Voyageurs du Monde also operates high-end travel bookshops and travel luggage stores. Voyageurs du Monde was established in 1979 and is headquartered in central Paris. The company has 1,049 employees and comprises 12 brands including http://www.voyageursdumonde.fr, http://www.comptoir.fr, http://www.terdav.com, http://www.nomade-aventure.com, http://www.allibert-trekking.com, http://www.uniktour.com .
About Original Travel (http://www.originaltravel.co.uk):
Original Travel is one of the UK's fastest growing bespoke travel companies, offering tailor-made holidays to 95 countries worldwide. Since its launch in 2003, the multi-award winning company has firmly established itself as 'one to watch' in the travel industry, experiencing uninterrupted growth since 2003. While the bespoke travel sector has only just returned to its pre-recession levels, multi-award winning Original Travel has achieved six times revenue growth since 2007. The Original Travel team have created just under 50,000 itineraries for clients since 2003 including for some extremely high profile clients. Unlike many companies in the sector, Original Travel also has a bespoke inbound operation welcoming clients from all over the world to the UK. Also unique to Original Travel is its specialist team of divers - Original Diving - who pride themselves on combining the best dive destinations with the best accommodation across the globe.
Original Travel believes it is the small details that make a holiday; whether that's knowing where to find the finest spot for sleeping under the stars in Botswana's Makgadikgadi Pans; or the best place to catch the kite-surfing wind in North East Brazil. The Original Travel team are experts in honeymoons, experience-filled adventures, discreet luxury travel, safaris, private property rentals, family holidays, small group tours and diving, but above all they believe that life is in the detail.
Original Travel now has 50 employees and moved to new offices in Putney, London, in November 2016.
SOURCE Voyageurs du Monde and Original Travel