Asian expansion is on the cards for Corporate Travel Management as it acquired 75.1% of Asian travel company Westminster Travel for $49.2m.
The acquisition, effective 31 January 2014, will see the company’s two current major shareholders, Dato Wong Sin Just and Yu Kam Kee Lawrence, retain 24.9% of the business who will remain active in its operation following settlement of the deal.
Westminster has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Macau and Taiwan and has been in operation for 40 years. Over the last five years, it has reported compound annual growth in net profits of 19%.
The companies have previously worked together on networking clients and joint tenders, with CTM founder and managing director, Jamie Pherous, describing the acquisition as a “natural step”.
“The acquisition of Westminster Travel fast-tracks our entry into the Asian travel market, delivering an immediate, mature footprint in five key countries/territories,” he said.
“After working with their management team for several years, it became clear to us that Westminster Travel possesses all of the qualities we look for – a highly experienced and passionate management team, a business culture which values its people and its clients, and new opportunities to grow together through a regional client offering.”
Wong admitted an international partnership was crucial to ensure Westminster’s continued growth.
“The challenge was to find a company which not only held the same growth aspirations as ourselves, but which also placed a high value on its staff and exceptional customer service,” he said.
“We have so much confidence in the opportunities ahead for our business that we have decided to retain an ownership interest, and we look forward to building and expanding the business together with CTM’s management.”
The deal has prompted CTM to revise its EBITDA guidance for FY14 to $27m-$28m, factoring in Westminster’s contribution between February and June 2014.