Two Minnesota Travel Agencies Merge, Seek Further Acquisitions

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Photo by Tom Merton/OJO Images/Getty Images

Two of Minnesota’s oldest travel agencies – Minneapolis-based Schilling Travel and Coon Rapids-based Riverdale Travel – have announced a plan to merge. Additionally, the two agencies’ new, combined parent company reports it is actively seeking other companies to acquire.

Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to close July 2, Schilling will acquire Riverdale for an undisclosed sum. The new entity, under parent company Allied Continental Holdings, has annual sales of over $20 million as well as a combined total of 128 years of serving Minnesota’s leisure and corporate travelers, the two companies said. What’s more, Allied Continental says that the combination represents the first step in a strategic plan to acquire and integrate travel agencies throughout the Midwest.

Riverdale is part of Signature Travel Network, while Schilling is part of Travel Leaders Network.

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“With the ongoing consolidation of air, car and hotel suppliers in the United States, Allied Continental Holdings believes that the best way to grow its business is by banding together with other like-minded travel agency owners,” the two companies said in a statement announcing the merger. “Allied Continental Holdings has an aggressive strategy of acquiring and integrating travel agencies that share its mission, vision and values.”

Riverdale Travel President Sandy Anderson will serve as the combined company’s president of travel agency operations, while Brenda Nobbe of Riverdale will act as vice president. Amy Ferreira of Allied Continental Holdings will serve as a non-operating partner, while Schilling Travel President Robert Herman will serve as managing partner for Allied Continental Holdings.

While this strategy is still in its early stages, there has been a consistent trend of agency mergers, most notably with Travel Leaders Group, Frosch and others. Travel Leaders has been making moves to streamline its operations, most notably with its combination of Travel Leaders Associates, Results! Travel and Vacation.com into the new Travel Leaders Network, and its reorganization of Protravel and Tzell under the Travel Leaders Elite luxury division. Frosch has been consistently acquiring travel agencies, including Gadabout Travel, Treasure Coast Travel Agency and All Horizons Travel in 2016.

Allied Continental Holdings said that agency owners who are interested in a partnership can call Bob Herman at 612.332.1100 or visit www.allied-continental.com.

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