May 26, 2024

Gray Dawes makes ‘game changer’ acquisition

Gray Dawes Group has acquired Netherlands-based travel management business VCK Travel in a move that will see the TMC almost double in size.

The deal, its 14th to date and described by Gray Dawes as a “real game changer for our clients” brings the group’s turnover to over £500 million and increases its global workforce to nearly 500 people.

VCK Travel will rebrand under the Gray Dawes name.

Gray Dawes Chief Executive Suzanne Horner said the deal “represents the next step in our global growth plan and closes the circle on our unique service delivery strategy”.

“Given the size of the VCK Travel business, we look forward to leveraging the strengths of both companies to deliver enhanced global opportunities to our staff and clients alike,” she said.

“This strategic expansion into the Netherlands opens up new and exciting industry sectors for us, both in the UK and European markets, especially government and marine in which VCK Travel has an extremely strong foothold and reputation. It also means that Gray Dawes now has an excellent platform to pursue similar new business opportunities globally.”

Horner said Gray Dawes doesn’t foresee any job losses at VCK. “As a growing business, our plan is to retain all staff. Indeed, we are committed to increasing our people numbers across Europe,” she said.

“The shared focus on providing a high-touch personal service to clients make Gray Dawes and VCK a very natural fit. Following our acquisition of the company, it’s very much business as usual; we shall begin integration of the VCK Travel business from April 1 2024.”

She said the expansion was being led by client demand. “Our clients increasingly want global solutions, even the smaller ones.

“They’re taking us on the journey. We’ve been very successful picking up businesses in the UK and integrating them. We know how to do that well. Now, following our expansion last year into Australia and the US, we’ve been doing that internationally.”

VCK Travel Managing Director, Ed Berrevoets, added: “There are so many synergies across the businesses which makes this a very natural fit. By being part of the Gray Dawes Group we will be able to leverage the strengths of both companies to deliver enhanced global opportunities to our staff and clients alike.”

Fergus Glenapp, Chairman of Gray Dawes, said it gives the group “an exceptional European platform from which to continue to grow our operations around the world”.

Founded in 1947, VCK Travel has four offices in the Netherlands and has an annual turnover of €220 million.

It is one of the market leaders in the Netherlands in marine travel, government travel and business travel.

Gray Dawes Travel, part of the Gray Dawes Group, now has offices in London, Colchester, Manchester, Leeds, Leamington Spa and Edinburgh, as well as Australia offices in Sydney and Melbourne, and in the US
(New York and Miami).