Toucan Travel has stepped in to acquire Hart Travel after a previous takeover plan for the Fleet-based business fell through.
The independent agency chain, which now has seven shops across Hampshire and Berkshire, took the store and its five staff under its wing last month, securing its future.
Toucan’s management team became aware of the situation at Hart after one of Hart’s staff members approached Toucan for a job.
The agent explained how Hart boss Roger Crocker, who founded the agency with wife Sylvia in 1988, was looking to pass on the business ahead of his retirement.
However, the individual wanting to acquire Hart backed out of the deal at the last minute, leaving Hart and staff jobs at risk.
Terry Thornhill, Toucan managing director, later contacted Crocker and agreed a deal to bring the business into its network.
Toucan has since relocated Hart across the road from its previous location on Fleet high street. The new store began trading on September 1 and held a formal reopening last weekend.
Jo Matley, Toucan general manager, told TTG: “It’s brilliant to have been able to keep the business in Fleet.
“Hart has got a very loyal customer base and a great reputation locally. Its team is also very hardworking and knowledgeable and they will be a real asset to us at Toucan.”
Matley explained that Hart would keep its current branding, despite the takeover, and be known as “Hart Travel – a member of the Toucan Travel Group”.
It will switch from Worldchoice to become a member of the Advantage Travel Partnership, Toucan’s consortium.