Just a week after it announced that it had acquired the high profile Barrhead Travel, which is headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland, USA mega agency
–it is the ninth largest in the U.S., according to the Travel Weekly Power List—has indicated that it is not finished acquiring other travel companies in the UK.
Ninan Chacko, chief executive of the U.S. group, told the British travel trade publication, TTG, that it would “ramp up our focus in the UK” following its takeover of the Scottish agency chain.
The company will “without doubt undertake a mix of small, medium and larger acquisitions” in the future, he said, adding: “We certainly are in talks, a number of them; none I would characterize as later stage at this point.”
He added that Travel Leaders had grown “very comfortable with the notion of having a retail presence” since working with the Munro family. Bill Munro is chairman of Barrhead and Sharon Munro, his daughter, is chief executive.
“I have every expectation that Barrhead will thrive,” he added. “And particularly if Sharon sees opportunities where we can grow that retail presence, or something independently comes up that’s good business, then with the Barrhead acquisition the success and confidence will continue to grow, [and we can look at] how that might contribute to our UK portfolio.”
Chacko indicated that the Barrhead Travel name would remain and Travel Leaders was not “under any illusions of having our name plastered over the high street.”
Last year, Travel Leaders acquired the luxury agency Colletts Travel, which features Visit USA product in its offerings. Additional UK agencies would enable Travel Leaders to increase its profile as a transatlantic company, offering both inbound and outbound product.