Gray Dawes Group’s turnover will rise past £200 million with staff numbers of almost 300 due to the take over of business travel specialist rival Amber Road Travel.

Amber Road, chaired by former Abta chairman and Advantage Travel Partnership chief executive John McEwan, is being acquired from private equity company Endless LLP for an undisclosed sum.

Family-owned Gray Dawes is reinforcing its presence in the north of England with the acquisition, including Amber Road offices in Manchester and Leeds.


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The deal follows the purchase of northern-based INC. Travel Group nine months ago.

Amber Road is the ninth acquisition announced by Gray Dawes Group in four years following the purchase of The Business Travel Partnership, Travel Focus, Travel Management Group, Cambridge Business Travel, ctm Travel Management, Giles Travel, INC Travel Group and VIP Leisure.

Amber Road was rebranded from CTI last year and was previous run by Clive Wratten, who stepped down in July to become CEO of the Business Travel Association.

Gray Dawes Group CEO Suzanne Horner said: “Contrary to expectations we weren’t necessarily looking to make any acquisitions in 2019 but the opportunity to acquire a highly respected business such as Amber Road Travel was a prospect too tempting not to explore.

“We have built clear criteria when assessing acquisition opportunities and our joint business synergies quickly became clear. The quality of their workforce, diversity of client base and presence in Manchester and Leeds means I am hugely excited about welcoming them to the Gray Dawes Group.”

McEwan, chairman of Amber Road for two years, added: “I am delighted to see the deal completed. I am in no doubt that joining the Gray Dawes Group is perfect for the future success of both the Amber Road team and clients alike.

“The dynamism and passion shown by Suzanne and her team throughout the acquisition process were infectious, and I look forward to following the ongoing success of the newly combined businesses.”

James Woolley, partner at Endless LLP, which acquired Amber Road in 2017, said: “We hope that joining forces with Gray Dawes is an exciting outcome for the loyal workforce at Amber Road.

“We would like to thank all the Amber Road team for their hard work and dedication in delivering excellent service and customer care to their blue chip client base and we wish them and Gray Dawes the very best of success in the future.”

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