Not all agents affected by the proposed Triton merger will be able to vote on it, Travel Weekly has learned.
Members attending the group’s conference in Vilamoura, Portugal at the weekend left assuming all would be given an equal say in the future of the super-consortium.
But votes will only be allocated to shareholders of the three groups – and will be granted proportionally according to the number of shares each member owns.
That means every Advantage agent – from board member to high-street proprietor –will each have one vote because they all own a single share. However, most Global Travel Group agents won’t be able to vote because the bulk of shares are in the hands of the management.
At Worldchoice the situation is even more confusing. It says “the vast majority” of members own shares, although some hold many more than others. Chairman Colin Heal, for example, holds around 2% of Worldchoice stock. Some other Worldchoice members do not own shares and will not get a vote.
Each consortium will vote on the proposed mergers separately and each must back it by 75% for it to go ahead.
Despite the disparity, Global founder George Begg assured his consortium’s members that their views would be taken into consideration before the vote is cast. He said: “Clearly if there was a bad reaction from the membership it won’t be in the minority management’s interests to back it.”
Consortia members will be able to find out more about the proposals in six three-hour UK roadshows in the next month.
Begg added: “The members, for all the right reasons, are screaming for more information. Those who attended the conference were given a fraction of what they needed to know.”
After the roadshows, during which agents will be encouraged to openly discuss any concerns they have, Triton will publish information packs to be sent out to all members.
Begg assured members there would be “no pressure and no hard sell”, adding: “It’s not about lobbying or persuading.” However, he added members were unlikely to get another chance.
Advantage managing director John McEwan said: “We are in discussions over how the merger could work.”
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