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Uniglobe Travel Acquires Two AgenciesOctober 6, 2009 By: George Dooley
Uniglobe Travel USA LLC, announced the acquisition of UNIGLOBE Way To Go Travel and UNIGLOBE South Coast Travel, both located in Orange County, CA. These acquisitions represent the first direct-to-client agency acquisition for the company which has traditionally been involved in agency franchising. Both agencies primarily support corporate clientele in the Orange County market, with an emphasis on clients with total travel spending of $100,000 to $1 million. The client lists include companies in high tech, engineering, financial services and restaurant chains, Uniglobe said.
“This acquisition fulfills our previously stated intention to own an agency and have direct corporate clients. We understand that a top concern of our franchisees is a path to a seamless exit strategy. We’re pleased to be able to provide the two owners with a hassle-free transition to retirement and know that their future financial interests will be well protected as clients receive uninterrupted service levels within the UNIGLOBE organization”, says U. Gary Charlwood, founder, chairman and CEO of UNIGLOBE Travel International. “We believe that this is a great time to enter into agency ownership as the travel market has tremendous upside and we are eager to build a share of it.”
In making the acquisition, UNIGLOBE Travel USA has partnered with Marie Magliano, the owner of one of its leading franchises. As both UNIGLOBE Travel USA and Magliano are shareholders in the UNIGLOBE Travel Partners (UTP) organization, the new joint venture will operate under the UTP brand name.
The partnership will provide direct operational management while the staff will be co-located in UNIGLOBE Travel USA’s offices in Irvine, CA. “We will realize significant cost savings and efficiencies by bringing these two agencies together in one location. That we are able to gain these benefits and have staff continue to work in the same local market makes the transition painless for both staff and clients”, says Magliano, who will take on the role of president of the new operation.
UNIGLOBE Way To Go Travel owners Dick and Joyce Armstrong will be retiring from travel, while they maintain interests in other lines of business. Their daughter, Kathy Andersen, who was Vice President of the agency, is moving on to pursue a new business venture with her husband.
UNIGLOBE South Coast Travel owner Ron Reneker will also be retiring. He began stepping back from the agency in 2007 when he named Linda Battisti as president. Battisti will be retained as Vice President of Business Development following the acquisition.
“I’m very excited about this acquisition and my role in the new organization. Marie has been a close colleague for eight years and I’m pleased to be able to continue to learn from her and contribute to the growth of the organization” says Battisti.
Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. The UNIGLOBE Way To Go Travel acquisition closed on October 5, 2009 while UNIGLOBE South Coast Travel will close November 1, 2009. Uniglobe Travel USA is headquartered in Irvine, CA and is the US Regional Operation for UNIGLOBE Travel International LP. Uniglobe has over 700 locations in more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.