Former ITC boss Jennifer Atkinson takes majority stake in Aquilium Travel

A company founded by former ITC chief executive Jennifer Atkinson has acquired a majority stake in luxury agency Aquilium Travel while also investing in soon-to-launch events specialist operator Vedere.

Cheshire-based Aquilium was set up in 2017 by Gary Pridmore and David Mayer, who have now sold their majority stake to Atkinson’s Travel Seen, which was launched in 2021.

Atkinson said: “This is an exciting step-change for all involved and a door-opener for many more investments.”

More: Hays Travel acquires south Wales agency Travel House

Travel Seen, which describes itself as a “social-led luxury travel business”, plans to further grow Aquilium’s homeworking division while “using the Travel Seen social brand to generate high quality leads for sales growth”.

Travel Seen has also invested in Vedere, which is set to launch on November 27 as an operator specialising in sports events and experiences including musical festivals. The company will be led by Alex Catton, former head of Spectate at ITC.

Travel Seen said the combined forecast revenue for Aquilium and Vedere is around £10m.

Atkinson said: “It has taken a while to get the infrastructure established and to find the right opportunity for our first investment – after all, who sets up a travel business in a pandemic?”

Travel Seen was launched with backing from Liverpool-based Arete Capital, with entrepreneur Dez Derry joining in 2023 as a co-founder and investor.

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