Travel and Transport, Inc. and Ultramar Travel Management, Inc., report that Travel and Transport has acquired 100 percent of Ultramar in an all-cash transaction. Specific financial terms were not disclosed. Both are leading corporate travel management companies
With this acquisition, the combined companies will have over 1,000 employees located in 37 states with total annual sales in excess of $2 billion. The acquisition will now rank Travel and Transport as one of the top 100 Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) companies in the U.S. based on employee count, the company said.
The acquisition enables two of the industry’s major travel organizations to increase purchasing power on behalf of their clients while retaining their respective brand identities, their customer service orientation and technology solutions, Travel and Transport said.
"This acquisition is a true game changer for the industry. We believe that the combined power of our organizations, along with the continued steadfast belief in flexibility and our dedication to customer service, will be the clear alternative to the mega-firms in the market today,” said Travel and Transport President & CEO Bill Tech.
For Travel and Transport, this represents the latest phase of its growth that has occurred through new sales, client retention and strategic acquisitions, the company said.
"It enables the Omaha-based company to strengthen its leadership position among corporate travel providers and extend its reach by combining the two companies’ expertise and deep penetration in the finance, retail, private equity/finance, insurance, architecture/engineering and law sectors, " Travel and Transport said.
Under the new ownership structure, Ultramar, with 269 employees and $500 million in sales, will operate independently under its own name and retain its separate operational infrastructure. The company’s existing executive team will remain in place for a minimum of five years under employment contracts that became effective upon completion of the corporate acquisition.
Unlike other recent travel industry mergers, the companies said they do not plan for the elimination of any staff positions and they are expected to continue the positive growth trajectory that they have experienced for the past several years. Ultramar employees will retain their current compensation and benefits packages, and after one year, will become employee-owners by participating in Travel and Transport’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
“We have always respected Ultramar as a competitor and knew that its strengths in the marketplace would be a perfect complement to ours,” Tech added. “By preserving those strengths, and maintaining Ultramar’s leadership and operations as we combine our financial bases along with our respective areas of expertise, we believe we are setting the stage for accelerated growth for both sides of the organization,” Tech said.
Ultramar Chairman & CEO Peter Klebanow commented, “When Travel and Transport approached us, we immediately recognized that the proposed alignment was a perfect fit. Like Ultramar, Travel and Transport has always been a customer-first, global service provider, not just a ‘transaction factory.’ This combination of two similar cultures, while retaining our strong individual brands, represents the best-possible set of elements to ensure success for years to come; our hard-working employees gain an ownership stake in the business through an ESOP and our clients benefit through an ever more engaged and motivated workforce. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Travel and Transport and Ultramar collectively service hundreds of thousands of travelers around the world through RADIUS and GlobalStar, two leading global travel networks. Tech and Klebanow have played leading roles at RADIUS and GlobalStar, respectively, with both having served long-term board positions.
“Over the next year, we will closely review and determine the best course of action in terms of selecting a global solution that makes the most sense for all of our current and future global customers,” Tech said. Meanwhile,, Travel and Transport said each company’s global customers will continue to be protected under the rules and regulations that currently govern RADIUS and GlobalStar.
Founded in 1946, Travel and Transport, Inc., is the 5th largest travel management company in the U.S. specializing in corporate travel management, vacation travel, and group and meeting travel services.