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Gray Dawes closes deal that will see TMC ‘almost double’ in size



UK-based Gray Dawes Travel has completed the acquisition of Dutch
travel management company VCK Travel in a move that will “almost double”
the size of the business.

With VCK’s annual turnover of €220 million, the deal will
push Gray Dawes’ overall turnover beyond £500 million and see employee
numbers worldwide move towards 500. The value of the deal for the privately owned TMC was not disclosed.

Gray Dawes was ranked the 18th largest TMC in Europe last year with €263.8 million in gross sales in 2022 but is now closing
in on the continent’s top ten biggest players.

The TMC, which is privately owned by the Inchcape family,
said the two companies’ “high touch, high tech and high content” offering is the “core reason
behind their respective ongoing success”. All VCK Travel staff are being retained following the acquisition and the company will rebrand to Gray Dawes “in due time”.

Founded in 1947, VCK has four offices across the Netherlands – in
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag and Gorinchem – and specialises in marine, government and business travel. It is a member of the Radius Travel Network with which Gray Dawes indicated it will review its contractual arrangements.

Among VCK’s customers is the Dutch government, by whom it was reappointed in 2022 to manage its ‘3W’ contract worth around €36 million across 42,000 trips annually.

The acquisition comes a year after Gray Dawes’ purchase of
Australian agency MP Travel
. That was followed by key appointments in North
in February 2023 and the acquisition of Florida’s Express Travel last April. The three
developments saw Gray Dawes establish a global presence and adopt a “follow-the-sun” operating model for servicing clients.

Suzanne Horner, Gray Dawes Group’s CEO, said: “Our expansion
into Europe is incredibly exciting. It represents the next step in our global
growth plan and closes the circle on our unique service deliver strategy.”

Horner, who was recently named on Business Travel News’ Most
Influential list
, continued: “Out of hours, for example, is simply no longer a thing for
Gray Dawes; we are now ‘always on’… And with a shared technology platform
across the entire Gray Dawes operation, our clients will enjoy a seamless
personal service as we follow the sun around the globe.”

Ed Berrevoets, managing director of VCK Travel, added:
“I am very excited by the opportunity to work with Suzanne and her team, and
thrilled for VCK Travel’s staff to be part of such an exciting and
award-winning travel management company.”

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