Stella Group has bought Global Travel Group for an undisclosed sum.
The announcement, made last night, creates the UK´s largest independent network of travel agents.
The deal brings together Stella´s 80 Harvey World Travel agencies and its longhaul retailer Travelbag with 783 Global and Independent Options members.
This would create a group of 1,100 travel agents if current Worldchoice merger plans go ahead.
Stella Travel Services UK managing director Andrew Laurie told Travelweekly.co.uk: “From our perspective in the UK Stella is still slightly unknown and we feel this is a great fit for us.”
Stella Group is also the parent company of Travel 2/Travel 4 and is owned by MFS, which is listed on the Australian stock exchange.
Global founder George Begg said the deal would allow the group to meet its growth targets far quicker than expected and give the group the opportunity to look at further acquisitions in the trade. “This gives us financial clout immediately so we can grow ambitiously immediately,” he said.
No decisions have yet been taken in terms of branding but Global members will be offered the option to take on Harvey World Travel branding.
The Worldchoice merger with Global will still be pursued despite the deal. The Worldchoice board is also due to consider an approach by the Travel Trust Association following a letter to shareholders last week.