Skift Take

Travel Leaders Group may see an opening to acquire some travel agencies in Europe to fuel its growth while American Express Business Travel figures out how a proposed joint venture with a private equity group is going to work.

Travel Leaders Group, a Minnesota-based travel management company, wants to grow its footprint in Europe so it has put two of its UK brands, Protravel International UK and Tzell Travel Group UK, into a new London headquarters and banner, Travel Leaders UK.

Travel Leaders UK would then have $66 million in annual sales, a relatively small portion of Travel Leaders total $20 billion in yearly sales. These figures don’t represent revenue that Travel Leaders is taking in, but are gross sales transacted.

The new headquarters is in London’s Covent Gardens.

Barry Liben, CEO of Travel Leaders Group, says the move “is the first step on an aggressive expansion plan in the UK and Europe.”

“These businesses complement each other very well, which is good news for our clients, agents and suppliers,” Liben says. “The objective is to replicate the success of our U.S. business on this side of the Atlantic.”

Liben says the plan is to grow the business in Europe organically and through acquisition.

With the creation of Travel Leaders UK, Protravel’s Tina Rose becomes managing director of the UK operation while Barry Whittaker of Tzell UK takes on the roll of executive director of business development and acquisitions.

Travel Leaders Group was created six years ago through the consolidation of Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, Tzell Travel Group and TravelLeaders.

Travel Leaders states that Tzell UK ranks among the top 50 travel management companies in Ireland the UK.



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Tags: europe, travel agents

Photo credit: Travel Leaders CEO Barry Liben cutting the ribbon March 27, 2014, at the travel management company's new UK facilities. Travel Leaders Group

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