Corporate Travel Management (CTM) is moving into the Asian market, with the acquisition of a majority stake in Westminster Travel.
The Australian travel management company announced this week that it has agreed to purchase 75.1% of Asian TMC Westminster, in a deal valued at AU$49.2 million (US$46.3m). The transaction is expected to be competed on 31 January 2014.
Having operated for 40 years, Westminster Travel now has offices in five Asian countries and territories – Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Macau and Taiwan. The deal with CTM will see Westminster’s two major shareholders – Wong Sin Just and Lawrence Yu Kam Kee – sell more than three-quarters of their stakes in the company, while retaining a combined 24.9% shareholding.
CTM’s founder & managing director, Jamie Pherous, said the acquisition was intended to “maximise regional business opportunities”, and follows several years of collaboration between the two companies.
“The acquisition of Westminster Travel fast-tracks our entry into the Asian travel market, delivering an immediate, mature footprint in five key countries [and] territories,” said Pherous.
“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.”
Westminster Travel’s Wong Sin Just revealed that his company had been seeking an “international partnership”.
“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, and we have found that with CTM,” Wong 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.”
CTM said it will now work together with Westminster Travel on a transition plan to manage the merger.