Kuoni acquires UK-based luxury provider Carrier Ltd.

The Kuoni Group continues to pursue its growth strategy. Kuoni has fully acquired Carrier Ltd., the Cheshire (UK)-based tour operator as of 1 October 2008, together with its retail (travel agency) unit Carrier International Ltd. The acquisition further strengthens the Kuoni Group’s position in the premium segment: Carrier is one of the UK’s leading operators in the luxury travel market.

Carrier Ltd. was founded in Cheshire in 1980. The company also operates its own retail (travel agency) unit, Carrier International Ltd., which is also domiciled in Cheshire. Carrier expects to report total turnover of CHF 72 million for the 2007/08 business year, which ended on September 30, 2008. The company’s 84 employees will be retained under the new ownership. The present management team will also remain responsible for Carrier’s continued positive development. The parties agreed not to divulge the purchase price involved. Carrier will be assigned to Kuoni UK within the Kuoni Group and will be integrated into Strategic Business Division Style. The Carrier brand will be retained.

Carrier Ltd. is a specialist provider of customized and service-oriented travel arrangements all over the world. Its main destinations are in the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and Europe; and the company is particularly strong in the classic beach holiday, safari, ski and guided tours segments in the luxury travel market. “Carrier is a great enrichment for the Kuoni Group and for our activities in the UK market,” says Reto Wilhelm, Head of Strategic Business Division Style. “We expect to generate a lot of synergies with CV and Kirker, our existing luxury brands; and we also see sizeable potential for collaborations in our marketing to Kuoni’s high-end customers and Carrier’s high-class customer base.”

Ian Pollitt said:

”There are enormous benefits to be drawn from this acquisition due to the synergies that exist between Carrier and Kuoni’s current luxury brand portfolio and these will offer tremendous potential for future joint marketing collaborations and sales opportunities.

This latest acquisition is a further consistent realisation of the Kuoni Group’s growth strategy within the luxury segment. “This is a key step for Kuoni, particularly given the fierce competition in the UK market,” says Max E. Katz, CFO and speaker of the Group Executive Board. “And in taking it, we are underlining our leading position within the premium segment.” 

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