Introducing PEAK Adventures, the new brainchild of TUI Travel PLC and adventure specialist Intrepid Travel.
The new operation will be 60% owned by TUI Travel PLC and 40% owned by Intrepid Travel’s private shareholders, and will be consolidated by TUI Travel PLC.
The two companies expect to cut costs by at least 10 million GBP a year within the first three years, mainly through increased economies of scale. The signed deal is based on an injection of businesses into the venture by both parties; no cash has changed hands. Completion is expected by May 2011.
Intrepid Travel, a WYSE Travel Confederation member, is based in Melbourne, Australia and handles over 100,000 customers a year worldwide. For the financial year ended 30 June 2010, Intrepid Travel had revenues of 69.4 million GBP and PBT of 5.3 million GBP.
TUI’s adventure businesses are part of the Specialist & Activity Sector and include businesses based in the UK, Australia, North America and the Netherlands, with over 240,000 customers a year. For the financial year ended 30 September 2010 they had revenues of 185.3 million GBP and PBT of 6.8 million GBP.
TUI said the new venture would see the growth of the business, including new products, distribution channels, source markets and destinations.
TUI chief executive Peter Long said: “Specialist travel is an important part of our business and one of our key drivers of growth due to strong margins and development opportunities.
“This deal with Intrepid Travel will significantly enhance our position in the fast growing adventure travel sector. We believe this venture has great potential for value creation through the increased scale, synergies and growth of the combined businesses.”
The Board of the venture will be chaired by John Wimbleton, managing director of TUI Travel PLC’s Specialist & Activity Sector. Darrell Wade, CEO and co-founder of Intrepid Travel, will become CEO of the venture.
The remaining PEAK Adventures Board members will be newly appointed MD Geoff Manchester and Matt Beard from Intrepid Travel, Darren Mee and Jackie Watson from TUI Travel and Bob Welsh, former CEO of VicSuper Pty Ltd who joins as an independent director.
Brands included in the venture are Adventure Center, The Adventure Company, Adventure Tours Australia, Country Walkers, Exodus, Gecko’s, Guerba, Headwater, Imaginative Traveller, Intrepid Suntrek, Intrepid Travel, Oz Experience, Peregrine, Pinnacle Tours, Sawadee, TrekAmerica and WesternXposure.