French investment firm Genairgy is set to take a minority stake in Intrepid Travel to bolster the adventure travel specialist’s growth strategy.
The strategic partnership, announced on Thursday (11 March), will see Genairgy support Intrepid’s digital transformation, product innovation, market expansion and purpose initiatives.
Intrepid co-founders Darrell Wade and Geoff Manchester will retain majority ownership and remain as chair and director respectively.
Chief executive James Thornton will continue in his post and as a board member, as will non-executive directors Liz Savage and Sarah Morgan.
Genairgy owner Julien Leclercq will join the board, with the deal expected to be completed early next month.
"The strategic partnership will help Intrepid to accelerate its ambitious growth strategy with the goal to become the world’s first AUS $1 billion adventure travel company by 2025," said the operator in a statement.
Intrepid achieved record sales of AUS $491 million in 2019, and during the pandemic, it launched more than 100 new sustainable local trips and set new verifiable science-based carbon reduction targets.
"As the travel industry starts to recover from the pandemic, we remain focused on building the best travel company for the world,” said Thornton.
"The fact Genairgy and Intrepid have come together at this time demonstrates real confidence in the future of sustainable experience-rich travel. It’s clear that what was once considered a niche will become a mainstay tourism model post-Covid."
Leclercq said Genairgy’s strategy and values were closely aligned with those of Intrepid, which secured B Corp certification in 2019. It owns DMC network Altai, and has its own adventure travel division.
"We are excited to find a partner with the same values as us and we look forward to helping Intrepid achieve its full potential as we emerge from the global pandemic,” said Leclercq.
"While Intrepid has maintained an impressive history of growth, it was their genuine commitment to sustainable travel and B Corp credentials that truly set them apart."