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Mega travel management company BCD Travel has acquired
Milwaukee-based Adelman. Travel Weekly ranked Adelman No. 23 in its
global Power List for 2019. According to a BCD news release, the company realizes
$675 million in annual sales. The acquisition follows BCD's July majority stakeholder
investment in Hitachi Travel Bureau. The terms of the Adelman deal were not
BCD Travel president and CEO John Snyder said the acquisition was an easy
decision, given Adelman's status as a BCD affiliate since 2017 and Adelman's appetite for
innovation. "They're always among the first to raise their hands to look
at and test new technologies BCD has brought to the table," he said; in
addition, the company's client base was an attractive element of the business.
"We have an interest in growing in that small to midsize market."
Given the pace of TMC consolidation and the number of buyers
in the market, keeping a high-performer within the BCD family was another factor.
"That was a big part of the motivation; we do a lot of the due diligence for
the affiliate program, so if [an affiliate] steps up and says they are looking to
sell, we are first in line." said Snyder. "In the case of Adelman,
they also wanted to find the right place for employees who have been great to
them for so many years. That was definitely a concern on their side."
According to a BCD spokesperson, Adelman will operate as a stand-alone company under
BCD and there are no current plans to integrate organizations. Adelman CEO Andy
McGraw and president and COO Steve Cline will remain in
their current positions. Reporting lines within Adelman will remain as they are
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BCD has demonstrated a consistent appetite for acquisitions.
The Adelman purchase is the latest in a string that has included BCD operations
in Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Colombia, Japan and Poland. It's the company's third
move in the U.S. market in the past five years, after taking a majority stake
in Acendas Travel in 2017 and acquiring World Travel Service in 2015. In addition, the
company has made key acquisitions in the meetings and events space in the U.S.
and the U.K. Snyder told BTN the company will continue to look
for strategic partners to bring under ownership.
You'll likely hear more global acquisitions to strengthen our global network. ... Before the end of the year, two or three more will pop."
"Without a doubt, you'll be hearing more news on the
[meetings and events] side," he said. "We are in discussion with
interesting lines of business, some focused around events and experiential. You'll likely hear more global acquisitions
to strengthen our global network, even though I feel we have the strongest network
already, but before the end of the year, two or three more will pop."
Aside from acquisitions, BCD continues to grow its energy,
resources and marine offering and the media and entertainment category remains
a "tremendous focus" for the company, said Snyder, indicating that he
foresees an acquisition in the latter category before the end of the year on
top of BCD's organic growth efforts in that space.
Asked whether the American Express Global Business Travel/HRG merger influenced BCD's
acquisition strategy, Snyder dismissed the notion. "As a stakeholder in HRG,
we took a pass," he said. "We have a strong track record of investing
at least 40 percent of our earnings back into the business for the last four or
five years. It requires that to stay relevant." He underscored that BCD's
growth strategy is aimed at becoming a stronger and healthier business and continuing that investment. "I would question an acquisition that was primarily
about size. We acquire companies that are a cultural and strategic fit. We want
to be the strongest and [highest]-quality TMC in the business."
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