Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) has announced a new agreement to acquire Silicon Valley-based Casto Travel Inc.’s (CTI) U.S. operations. FLT reports it has entered into a unit purchase agreement with CTI, with the acquisition expected to close early in February 2019.
Established in 1974, CTI is an independent travel management company in the San Francisco Bay Area with 85 employees and a total transaction volume of $120 million. It has three offices in San Jose, San Francisco and Tiburon. CTI President and CEO Marc Casto was the subject of a recent cover profile by our sibling publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, where he spoke about the agency’s philosophy of continuous innovation, which is inspired by its Silicon Valley clientele. Casto told us at the time that the company has an approximately 75 percent - 20 percent corporate - leisure mix, with the remaining 5 percent of business coming from passport and visa processing.
FLT Managing Director Graham Turner said that the acquisition would strengthen the company’s overall operations in the United States, which includes corporate travel, leisure travel and the wholesaler GOGO Vacations. He said the deal would also give the company greater scale in Silicon Valley and the West Coast market.
Flight Centre Travel Group, which is based in Australia, entered the U.S. market in late 2007 / early 2008 with the purchase of GOGO and Liberty Travel. The company has since launched a new brand for independent travel agents, Independent by Liberty Travel, and continued to expand worldwide.