The parent of UK OTA Holidaygems.co.uk has a new majority investor who plans to grow the firm into a group of travel companies through acquisition.
Andrew Botterill, last seen in travel in the spring when he left Global Travel Group, Gold Medal and Travel 2 parent dnata Travel Europe where he was chief executive, has taken a majority stake in Travcorp Holdings.
He will come in as chairman on February 1 and told Travolution sister site Travel Weekly that he is planning to bring on board either private equity or trade investors as he pursues a “buy to build” strategy.
Travcorp Holdings is based in Chester and Stockport, also owns online B2C long-haul tour operator Destination2.co.uk and is headed up by managing director Jason Edwards and former dnata-owned Travelbag managing director Tony Carty, who joined the firm last year.
Botterill said: “I’ve been looking at various options for a strong platform to take forward to capitalise on the opportunity that I believe exists to build a diverse group of UK travel assets.
“I am looking forward to sourcing the appropriate funding for the project and making sure that we have the right partner on board, be that from private equity or the trade. The conversations I have had so far have been extremely positive, including opportunities for JVs and partnerships.”
Botterill said the businesses he was looking to acquire would likely be trade-friendly.
“My history is in the trade. Agents are very close to my heart and so I don’t think the desire to be involved with the trade is going to ever go away,” he said.
Holidaygems now turns over about £40 million while Destination2 delivered 100,000 bed nights in 2017, predominantly to the Middle East, Indian Ocean and Asia.
Botterill previously led the sale of CVC Capital Partners-owned Stella Travel Services to Emirates-owned dnata Travel in 2015.