Ensemble members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a deal that would see the company acquired by Navigatr, the two companies have revealed.
David Harris, CEO of Ensemble Travel Group who will now assume the role of Chairman, told Open Jaw that, “We were thrilled to receive more than 80% of shareholders voting to approve this deal. When you think about that percentage in terms of voting, it’s truly amazing.”
According to Ensemble’s press materials, the company has 600 independently-owned travel agencies in the U.S. and Canada.
Under the terms of the deal, which the companies say is expected to close at the end of MAY, Ensemble will remain a standalone entity within the Navigatr group with Michael Johnson of Navigatr becoming President.
“Ensemble would still be Ensemble”
Harris told Open Jaw Wednesday, 18MAY, that shareholders saw two great benefits to the acquisition deal, including practical features like the ability to, “fill in certain gaps and have the ability to deliver tangible benefits through things like TripArc’s ADX platform, which has the ability to significantly improve agency and advisor earnings, on top of best in class air and hotel programs.”
Other benefits are points of pride. “They also appreciated that Ensemble would still be Ensemble as it will be a standalone entity under the Navigatr umbrella,” added Harris.
“It’s been very gratifying to hear from members about their excitement at the additional opportunities and resources that will be available to them to grow and enhance their businesses,” said Johnson in a media release.
“The new Ensemble is truly poised for significant network growth to deliver for all of our stakeholders.”
The deal is expected to close at the end of MAY, and Harris says Ensemble will be “laser focused on what the modern consortia model can look like when travel experts are given ALL the tools to run a successful travel business.
“I can tell you the possibilities are limitless and our focus will continue to be on helping members manage and leverage the return to travel with enhanced resources, new marketing programs and other tools and resources afforded by this new partnership.”
“No Letter of Intent” from Hickory
Harris also denies published reports that there was at least one other – better – offer for Ensemble.
When Open Jaw asked Harris about allegations published in other media by corporate agency company Hickory Global Partners that Hickory had made a better bid for Ensemble, he acknowledged the company had “reached out” to Ensemble in summer of 2021.
“The Ensemble board was happy to look at any potential opportunity that might be in the best interest of the company and its shareholders,” Harris told Open Jaw.
“A confidentiality agreement was signed but no letter of intent was submitted,” he added.
“In December 2021, we received a formal letter of intent from Navigatr. With yesterday’s announcement, we are focused on the value of what this new chapter brings for Ensemble members and partners.”