Ensemble shareholders approve Navigatr acquisition: Travel Weekly

Ensemble Travel Group’s shareholders have voted to approve Navigatr Group’s acquisition of the travel agency consortium. The parties inked an acquisition deal last month pending a shareholder vote.

The acquisition is expected to close at the end of May.

Current Ensemble CEO David Harris will become Ensemble’s chairman, and Navigatr’s Michael Johnson will become Ensemble’s president. The agency consortium will operate as a standalone entity within Navigatr.

Harris said members will be able to operate as usual, but they will benefit from access to new tools such as agent platform ADX.

“We are very pleased that the shareholders saw the myriad opportunities this deal offered for them from access to new technology and resources to the ability to streamline supplier contracts and programs,” Harris said in a statement.

Navigatr, a travel investment firm, also owns host agency Travel Edge. Its other investments include Kensington Tours and luxury travel agency collective TripArc. ADX is at the core of TripArc’s offerings. 

“As I have come to know the Ensemble team and members over the past several months, I am more confident than ever of the value that this new consortium model represents,” Johnson said. “It’s been very gratifying to hear from members about their excitement at the additional opportunities and resources that will be available to them to grow and enhance their business.

“The new Ensemble is truly poised for significant network growth to deliver for all of our stakeholders,” Johnson added.

Navigatr was not the only company interested in Ensemble. Last week, Hickory Global Partners said it made a bid to acquire Ensemble, but claimed the competing bid was not disclosed to members. That drew the ire of at least one Ensemble member, Eric Goldring of Goldring Travel in Truckee, Calif. He said he believed the announcement from Hickory was made to upset the voting process on the Navigatr transaction.

Goldring is in favor of the acquisition because of the technology Navigatr will bring to Ensemble, specifically for air and hotel bookings.

That was also a draw for Ross Spalding, president of Crown Cruise Vacations in Princeton, N.J.

“I am very excited for the future of Ensemble and its members, with the support of the Navigatr Group, whose mission and focus are to make travel advisors, and travel agencies, more profitable,” Spalding said. “With this new partnership, Ensemble will quickly become a leader in the air and hotel arena, building on its proven success and leadership in cruise, tour, marketing, and meeting and events.”

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