Flight Centre responds to acquisition rumour

FLIGHT Centre Travel Group has voiced a formal response to speculation recently printed in The Australian, which suggested the agency is “considering the potential acquisition of a corporate travel business in the US”.

The newspaper wrote that Flight Centre is “understood to be considering an acquisition of Altour International”, a US-based travel agency which serves the corporate and leisure luxury and mid-markets and entertainment community.

“It is believed to have been on the market and sources close to Flight Centre say that the iconic Australian company has been taking a look at the business to consider a possible acquisition,” The Australian reported, also noting that the US company could be worth as much as $700 million.

Altour International reported an annual TTV of US$3 billion in 2019 prior to the pandemic, and has more than 1,300 travel professionals on its team across 53 offices worldwide.

Private equity firm Certares is a major stakeholder in Altour, whose parent company is the Internova Travel Group.

Making an exception to its company policy not to respond to media speculation, Flight Centre neither confirmed nor denied the rumour, revealing it “has had, and continues to have, various discussions with a number of parties regarding strategic opportunities”.

“This intention to consider acquisition opportunities to complement organic growth was outlined in FLT’s recent result announcements,” Flight Centre added.

The rumour seems to have boosted Flight Centre’s share price, which – as of Tuesday 30 Aug – is now in the green, trading at $16.94, up 1% on its previous close.

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