Australian giant snaps up £250m fast-growth travel firm

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A £153M-TURNOVER Australian travel company has acquired Yorkshire’s Redfern travel.

Brisbane-based Corporate Travel Management has bought the Bradford-based company in an undisclosed deal.

Redfern was founded in 1937, and specialises in online travel services to government and corporates across the UK.

It made its debut on the Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100, which ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing profits over three years

For the year to 31 March 2016, Redfern turned over £252.1m, and pre-tax profits of £5.4m.

Corporate Travel Management Ltd grew revenues 32% year-on-year from AUS$197.7m to AUS$260.95m (£153m). The company is listed on the Australian stock exchange and employs 2,200 people across its operations in 53 countries.

Founded in 1994, CTM has been on the acquisiiton trail since 1999, most recently acquiring US-based companies.

It has been building its global presence in recent years, acquiring Boston-based Travizon Travel in April 2016 and California’s montrose Travel in December 2015.

Mark Bowers, Redfern Travel CEO, said: “The partnership was a natural fit, with CTM’s focus on innovation aligning perfectly with Redfern’s strategic vision. The deal will help to accelerate the development of our technology, products and services, as well as the opportunity to leverage CTM’s increased buying power and scale in our core markets.”

The corporate finance team at accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP in Leeds advised Redfern Travel. The BDO team was led by M&A partner Jason Whitworth, assistant director James Gregson and manager James Mannion.

Jason Whitworth, partner at BDO, said: “The travel industry continues to be buoyant in terms of M&A activity. This deal represents a good strategic move for the shareholders and presents a huge opportunity for the business to grow. It will enable Redfern to leverage its innovative and market-leading travel systems both internationally and across new sectors.”

Law firm Shulmans, led by partner Andrew Bradley provided legal advice to the vendors, with Osborne Clark acting for Corporate Travel Management.


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