CORPORATE Travel Management’s (CTM) acquisition of travel agency software specialist Tramada last month took the industry by surprise, not least because Tramada is a key supplier to 80% of the Australian and New Zealand business travel sector, many of whom are direct competitors to CTM. The move was yet another canny deal for CTM, which by all accounts looks to have positioned itself well for recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides — and clearly had cash in hand to buy out Tramada owner Anna Buduls.
The move marked the end of an era for Jo O’Brien who has led the business as CEO for almost 15 years, with the operation to now be headed up by Bjorn Bohme, Tramada’s Global Director of Product and Engineering. CTM unusually didn’t announce the acquisition to the Australian Stock Exchange, with GM Australia/NZ Greg McCarthy telling travelBulletin it was “not material” to the company’s bottom line. And while he has provided assurances that it’s business as usual and that the company will continue to service its existing clientele across Flight Centre, Helloworld, CT Partners, Express Travel Group and more, there is understandably some uneasiness in the ranks of the industry about a major competitor now becoming a major supplier too.