If Only has been acquired by Elegant Resorts owner Portman Travel Group for an undisclosed sum.
The deal will see founders Brendan and Mary Maguire step back immediately from the business after 18 years.
Chief executive Andy Freeth and his senior team; Gordon McCreadie, product and distribution director; Tracy Docherty, sales director; and David Irving, operations director, will be staying with the company “to drive their continued expansion plans with the support of their new investor”.
If Only joins Portman Travel Group’s portfolio of travel brands including Elegant Resorts and Clarity, which were acquired in 2014, and Ian Allan Travel, which was acquired in May 2019 by Clarity.
In the last 18 months If Only has significantly grown its turnover, moved to new offices, invested in telephony and technology and expanded its portfolio into the US, Caribbean and luxury cruise. In the coming weeks its new Far East brochure will feature Japan and China for the first time in the company’s history.
Brendan Maguire said: “When I recruited Andy, he was tasked with finding an investor with a similar culture, integrity, ethos and a fit that would allow the business to thrive and grow in the future.”
“While Mary and I are sad to leave a business we’ve worked so hard on; we see this investment as a really exciting opportunity for the brand and the team.
“If Only is a long established and respected trade business, and this is a brilliant move for our partners and customers. The acquisition will allow Andy and his team to continue the phenomenal growth delivered. I would personally like to thank all of the team at If Only, our suppliers and our travel agent partners for their support over the last 18 years and look forward to retirement.”
Freeth added: “Having an innovative, supportive and financially solid investor for If Only unlocks great benefits for the team, our partners and our customers. We’ll gain access to a wider portfolio of luxury holiday products and will have access to capital to invest in technology. We’ll be sharing our exciting plans over the coming months.”
Redmond Walsh, chief executive of Portman Travel Group added: “The acquisition fulfils Portman Travel Group’s strategy of buying complementary and sector-leading businesses.
“Portman Travel Group has owned Elegant Resorts, the highly respected luxury specialist, since 2014, and I look forward to seeing the trade sales teams from both If Only and Elegant Resorts, continuing to flourish in the B2B space.”
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