INVESTMENT YEAR
2013
REALISATION YEAR
2018
SECTOR
Services
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Specialist travel management company

Key Travel is the leading travel management company dedicated to serving the travel requirements of the not-for-profit, academic and faith sectors – with clients and offices in the UK (Manchester, London, Liverpool and Edinburgh), Europe and the US. Key Travel provides airline tickets, hotels, rail tickets, visas and risk management services to clients including charities such as Oxfam and Save the Children and universities including Bristol, Cambridge and Liverpool.

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Travelling together into the US and beyond

 

  • Livingbridge’s investment enabled the MBO of the business, and is supporting the business as it grows its presence in the UK academic market, continues its penetration of the UK charity market and retains its status as market leader in this field.
  • The investment also supported the company to accelerate its growth in the US, following its acquisition of US-based World Travel Management in 2010. In 2016 the business acquired OT&T Travel Management Inc.
  • Following our investment, a new UK MD was appointed bringing a wealth of operational experience across travel, FMCG and leisure sectors. We also helped to appoint a finance director, a marketing director, a chairman, and a CTO, all new roles in the business.
  • New offices were opened in Newcastle and the Netherlands, and Key Travel launched a new website and mobile app, with an online booking tool launched following 18 months of in-house development.
  • In 2018 Key Travel was sold to another private equity house, generating a 3.2x gross multiple.
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Key Travel timeline

1980 Business founded by Ajaya Sodha, past chairman of the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC)
2010 Key Travel acquires US-based World Travel Management
2012 Key Travel acquires Delta Travel in the UK
2013 Livingbridge’s investment enabled the management buyout of the business
2014 New website and mobile app launched
2015 New UK MD appointed
2015 Offices opened in Newcastle and the Netherlands
2016 New online booking tool launched, following 18 months of in-house development
2016 Acquisition of OT&T Travel Management Inc
2018 Successful sale to another private equity hous