Gray Dawes Group has announced the acquisition of Amber Road Travel as its continues a strategic growth plan.

The deal includes Amber Road’s Manchester and Leeds offices, which will bolster Gray Dawes’ presence in the North of England following the acquisition of INC Travel Group nine months ago.

The group has been on the acquisition path in recent years, snapping up Giles Travel and its specialist MICE division Globe in November 2018 and Redhill-based CTM in December 2017. It also purchased Travel Management Group, Cambridge Business Travel, The Business Travel Partnership, Travel Focus and VIP Leisure.

Gray Dawes Group was 16th on the 2019 Leading 50 TMCs list.

The TMC says the Amber Road acquisition sees its annual turnover driven past £200 million and employee count nearing 300.

“Contrary to expectations, we weren’t necessarily looking to make any acquisitions in 2019 but the opportunity to acquire a highly respected business such as Amber Road Travel was a prospect too tempting not to explore,” commented Gray Dawes CEO Suzanne Horner.

“We have built clear criteria when assessing acquisition opportunities and our joint business synergies quickly became clear,” Horner explained. “The quality of their workforce, diversity of client base and presence in Manchester and Leeds means I am hugely excited about welcoming them to the Gray Dawes Group.”

John McEwan, outgoing chairman of Amber Road Travel, added: “I am delighted to see the deal completed. I am in no doubt that joining the Gray Dawes Group is perfect for the future success of both the Amer Road team and clients alike. The dynamism and passion shown by Suzanne and her team throughout the acquisition process were infectious, and I look forward to following the ongoing success of the newly combined businesses.”

James Wooley, partner at former Amber Road owner Endless LLP, said: “We hope that joining forces with Gray Dawes is an exciting outcome for the loyal workforce at Amber Road. We would like to thank all the Amber Road team for their hard work and dedication in delivering excellent service and customer care to their blue chip client base and we wish them and Gray Dawes the very best of success in the future.”

Amber Road Travel rebranded from CTI in 2018 under the guidance of Clive Wratten, who is now CEO of the Business Travel Association (BTA).

Gray Dawes Group was advised by Jonathan Wall of Elman Wall and Paul Forsyth of Ellisons Solicitors, with James Croxon of Park Place Corporate Finance and Alasdair Outhwaite of DWF advising Amer Road Travel and Endless LLP.

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