Homeworking franchise company Explorer Travel has been acquired by Hays Travel for an undisclosed sum.
Explorer’s 70 franchisees were set to join the Hays Travel Group from midnight on Wednesday.
Owner Steve Wood is leaving the travel industry to pursue other interests.
He approached Hays Travel and discussions began a few weeks ago.
Hays Travel currently has more than 350 people working in its home working division.
The acquisition is seen as an ideal fit with its homeworking model which has seen many individuals progress to become successful independent businesses as part of the Hays Travel Independence Group.
The Explorer franchise model is described as providing a stepping stone between the traditional homeworking model and an Independence Group member.
Hays Travel owner Dame Irene Hays said: “John and I always thought Explorer was a great business and I was delighted when Steve approach me once he decided to leave travel to do other things.
“We have had a very good first meeting with the franchisees and we’re looking forward to helping them grow their businesses and to recruiting more people into our latest franchise model in due course.
“It’s a very different approach and I am very very excited about it filling a gap between our Premier Telesales Homeworking and Personal Travel Consultants and the Independence Group, opening up new opportunities for our existing colleagues.
“It’s also allowing many more people to join who enjoy homeworking and are looking for the chance to earn a good living at home and eventually perhaps build their own business.”
Wood added: “I am delighted to have handed over Explorer Travel to Hays Travel.
“I have admired John and Irene’s business ethos over the years and feel, now that I’d like to move on, that Hays offers the best place for Explorer’s franchisees to help their businesses grow.”