DELRAY BEACH, FL — The war of words – from one side at least – is escalating as Hickory Global Partners doubles down on its accusations against Ensemble Travel Group amid its proposed acquisition by Navigatr Group.
“If there is an attempt to obfuscate what we have said or think of this as ‘he-said/she-said,’ let me be very clear,” said Chris Dane, President and Managing Partner of Hickory Global Partners in a statement issued earlier today.
“Our offer, in writing, that was made in July of 2021, and was under active discussion with Ensemble through early December, returned twice the share value to its shareholders as Navigatr’s. Additionally, our offer was far superior in every way, including, the opportunity for better technology, more sales volume and purchasing power and more experience in marketing and supplier relations.”
He goes on to say that “the [Ensemble] board not only did not disclose these facts to its members, but did not engage in the kind of fair bidding process you would expect from a typical corporate acquisition. Therefore, the members are not getting the highest and best value from this deal, which is being rushed through under duress and with the false urgency of no alternatives.”
NOT RESPONDING TO THE ALLEGATIONS
Last month Navigatr Group and Ensemble Travel Group announced plans that, if approved, would see Navigatr acquire Ensemble’s North American consortium. Navigatr Group, led by founder and CEO Jeff Willner, is the parent company of tour operator Kensington Tours along with retailers Travel Edge and Travel Edge Network, plus tech division TripArc.
Navigatr and Ensemble say that if the deal is approved by Ensemble’s shareholders, Ensemble will be a standalone entity within Navigatr Group. It will continue operations in the U.S. and Canada.
Earlier this week Hickory Global Partners issued a statement arguing that Ensemble Travel Group showed lack of transparency in its dealings with the Delray Beach, FL-based company, arguing that its own bid for the consortium wasn’t presented to Ensemble’s members.
In that May 11 statement, Dane accused Ensemble of “rushing to cram through a vote while withholding key information and competing offers.”
Ensemble said it is not responding to the allegations.