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Protravel International Acquires Rich Worldwide TravelJune 30, 2009 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor
In an unpredictable economy, agencies across the country are doing all they can to make their businesses more cost efficient. Tough financial times make for tough decisions, even the option of merging with another company. But for Rich Worldwide Travel, it was not difficult at all to pull the trigger in deciding to merge with Protravel International Inc.
Protravel International Inc. made the announcement today that it has acquired Rich Worldwide Travel. According to Priscilla Alexander, president of Protravel, with three of the Rich offices in primary Protravel locations, it is a natural merger of similar customers and business philosophies.
Rich Worldwide, headquartered in Westchester, NY and founded by Ina and Allen Rich in 1956, has been jointly run for the last few years by their two daughters, Michele and Donna, and their sons-in-law, Nathan Devore and Richard Esman. The four principals will continue with the merged companies in senior management positions. With annual sales of $60 million, Rich joins Protravel International, Virtuoso’s top producer, reinforcing its position in the premium travel market.
“As a family-run business it was important to find the right agency with which to merge; one that mirrored our business philosophy and direction” said co-president Richard Esman. “When considering potential partners we looked for several things; an agency with impeccable credentials, a fine reputation for service, a similar business philosophy, smart people and a company committed to growth in the long term. We believe Protravel is all of that, and more.”
Founded in 1984 by Priscilla Alexander, and with over 650 people in 20 locations, Protravel is one of the leading agencies in the U.S., focusing on premium leisure business and corporate accounts in the $1 million to $10 million range.
Alexander said that future considerations were paramount in everyone’s thinking. “This merger affords us the ability to position ourselves for growth in a very competitive industry, allowing us to leverage expanded sales on behalf of our clients, while finding economies of scale that will permit us to invest in people and technology for continued success,” she said.
Protravel International, headquartered in New York City, opened its 23rd full-service location in Grand Rapids, MI, and Protravel president Priscilla Alexander said the agency is committed to a growth strategy.
Projected sales for her entire company are $540 million. In business since 1984, the agency has close to 650 employees, is the largest producer for Virtuoso (the agency group) and is ranked among the top 15 privately owned agencies in the U.S.