V.Group Acquires Global Marine Travel, Doubling Size of Travel Operations
Acquisition reaffirms commitment and focus in travel segment, contributes to strategy of inorganic growth
V.Group, the leading global marine services provider, announced last month that it has acquired Global Marine Travel (ISS GMT) from Inchcape Shipping Services.
The move combines V.Travel with GMT’s industry-leading marine travel expertise and brings greater scale to the combined operations. Bringing together GMT and V.Travel increases the companies’ ability to offer truly global, 24/7 travel operations focused on delivering customer satisfaction, with a combined travel portfolio of over $300 million.
The addition of GMT to V.Group’s travel portfolio doubles ticketing volumes, strengthens the management team and will enable the creation of a combined operational hub in the Philippines. At the same time, it bolsters existing travel operations with two additional International Air Transport Association licences. Both businesses will eventually operate under the GMT brand.
Last year, V.Group outlined a strategy of focusing on developing its six key services lines, with inorganic growth playing a key part in the process. In line with that strategy, this acquisition signifies V.Group’s commitment in the travel segment, and the extent to which V.Group’s inorganic growth furthers its strategic aim to transform the marine industry.
The combined resources of V.Group, V.Travel, and GMT will create a market-leading platform for managing and simplifying the seafarer journey from home to ship and back. This complements V.Group’s ‘Project Embark’ – which invests in the development of digital technologies that will streamline and enhance the overall seafarer experience.
“We are delighted to have found a partnership that allows us to increase the scale, and invest further in technology and talent within our travel business,” said Elliot Gow, Group Managing Director, Marine Services, at V.Group.
“V.Group believes that there is genuine advantage to scale in the maritime services business, as it allows us to invest in great systems and great people. This partnership gives us unrivalled capacity, greater purchasing power, and better service capabilities within the travel market, and will help us deliver the right solutions, at the right prices, for our customers.”
“We are excited to be onboard with V.Group, as the next important step in V.Group’s strategy to consolidate and grow in this fragmented market”, said Tim Davey, Managing Director of the combined Marine Travel operations at V.Group.
“GMT complements V.Travel perfectly, adding to our pool of deep expertise in the maritime travel sector, and increasing the scope of what we can deliver on a global scale, 24 hours a day. The extra talent and technical capacity will be instrumental in transforming the seafarer journey. GMT customers will continue to benefit from the excellent global standards they have come to expect, but with the addition of more resources and capacity to deliver.”
V.Group will also divest its V.Ships Agency business to Inchcape, simultaneously entering into a service agreement that establishes a partnership with a global leader in port agency to provide a better ship agency platform and improve the experience for all customers.
Elliot Gow added: “V. Ships Agency is joining the world’s leading agency business, which makes this a win-win for both of our companies.”
Inchcape CEO Frank Olsen said, “GMT is a travel business with a global reputation for excellence, and we believe it is in good hands with V.Group. As we acquire the V.Ships Agency business, we look forward to enhancing the services we provide for agency and travel customers alike. I believe this partnership sets a new standard of collaboration within the marine support services market, aimed at continual service improvement and scale efficiencies.”