GMT is one of the world’s largest marine travel businesses

V.Group and Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) have switched their agency and marine travel interests between each other. It has not been disclosed if any money changed hands or whether it is a straight swop of two business activities.

Under the deal, V.Group, which is one of the world’s largest commercial marine ship managers but also operates sizeable superyacht interests, has acquired Global Marine Travel (GMT) from Inchcape. The second part of the deal sees ISS taking over the marine agency activities of V.Group.

GMT is one of the world’s largest marine travel businesses, with yacht crew and officers stationed globally. For V.Group, the transaction will see V.Travel being combined with GMT’s travel expertise, bringing greater scale to the combined operations.

“We are delighted to have found a partnership that allows us to increase the scale, and invest further in technology and talent within our travel business,” said Elliot Gow, group managing director of marine services at V.Group. “V.Group believes that there is genuine advantage to scale in the maritime services business, as it allows us to invest in great systems and great people.

“This partnership,” he adds, “gives us unrivalled capacity, greater purchasing power, and better service capabilities within the travel market, and will help us deliver the right solutions, at the right prices, for our customers.”

Bringing together GMT and V.Travel increases the companies’ ability to offer truly global, 24/7 travel operations focused on delivering customer satisfaction. The addition of GMT to V.Group’s travel portfolio doubles ticketing volumes, strengthens the management team and will enable the creation of a combined operational hub in the Philippines.

Last year, V.Group outlined a strategy of focusing on developing its six key services lines, with inorganic growth playing a key part in the process. In line with that strategy, this acquisition signifies V.Group’s commitment in the travel segment, and the extent to which V.Group’s inorganic growth furthers its strategic aim to transform the marine industry.

“We are excited to be onboard with V.Group, as the next important step in V.Group’s strategy to consolidate and grow in this fragmented market,” said Tim Davey, managing director of the combined marine travel operations at V.Group.

“GMT complements V.Travel perfectly,” Davey comments, “adding to our pool of deep expertise in the maritime travel sector, and increasing the scope of what we can deliver on a global scale, 24 hours a day. The extra talent and technical capacity will be instrumental in transforming the seafarer journey. GMT customers will continue to benefit from the excellent global standards they have come to expect, but with the addition of more resources and capacity to deliver.”

Inchcape CEO Frank Olsen said: “GMT is a travel business with a global reputation for excellence, and we believe it is in good hands with V.Group. As we acquire the V.Ships Agency business, we look forward to enhancing the services we provide for agency and travel customers alike. I believe this partnership sets a new standard of collaboration within the marine support services market, aimed at continual service improvement and scale efficiencies.”