The UK’s longest established IATA travel business Good Travel Management has acquired Mercian Travel Centre for an undisclosed sum.
Hull-based business travel specialist Good, which was first registered with IATA immediately after World War 2 in 1946, completed the deal after Mercian founder and former owner John Downing decided to retire aged 75.
The takeover is the first time the Uniglobe member has expanded beyond its Humber roots in more than 120 years of trading as part of the family-owned John Good Group.
West Midlands-based Mercian specialises in high-end leisure travel, tour operations, corporate travel and trade missions, with a particular expertise in Libya and the Middle East.
The move is set to open new markets for Good Travel Management in the Midlands and the south of England as well as bolstering its operations in Hull and Grimsby.
The business will continue to trade as Mercian Travel and all staff are being retained by the new owners. Downing, who started the business in 1970, said he had spent two years searching for the right buyer.
He said: “In this climate the company needs to be taken on by a larger organisation. As we have got to know Good Travel Management it became clear they were the people to purchase Mercian as they are a family business with similar values to our own.”
Good’s general manager Kevin Harrison said: “We are very pleased with this acquisition because Mercian Travel Centre is an extremely good business – it is a credit to John and his wife, Mary, who have run it very well for more than four decades.
“The firm has experience in a host of travel sectors similar to our own, so it is a good fit with our business. Its record in delivering trade missions was of particular interest because we have been increasingly specialising in this area and the acquisition strengthens our offer.”
He added that as part of a family firm, albeit a much larger company, Good Travel Management’s values were closely aligned with those of Mercian Travel.
“Mercian Travel Centre’s customers are used to the personal touch and a very high level of service,” he said. “We fully intend to retain that in the business.”