Hickory Global Partners escalates its war of words against Ensemble

Hickory Global Partners says Ensemble lacking transparency with Navigatr deal

DELRAY BEACH, FL — A U.S.-based travel company is accusing Ensemble Travel Group of lack of transparency after it says its own bid for the consortium wasn’t presented to Ensemble’s members.

Chris Dane, President of Hickory Global Partners, says Ensemble is “rushing to cram through a vote while withholding key information and competing offers.”

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.

In Hickory Global Partners’ version of events, which it says is based on reports from Ensemble members, the Navigatr offer was presented in a legal document, some 120 pages long, and members had two weeks to evaluate the proposition.

Hickory Global Partners’ statement alleges that in communications to agency owners, “Ensemble officers threatened that without a vote of two-thirds of members to approve the Navigatr offer, Ensemble – lacking any other alternatives – would likely cease to operate.”

Hickory Global Partners is a global alliance for corporate travel agencies, corporate travel departments and corporations, based in Delray Beach, FL.

“Ensemble’s Board of Directors failed their fiduciary responsibility by never informing their members of competing bids, including ours, which we are confident was to the benefit of their co-op shareholders,” said Dane.

“Ensemble’s lack of transparency will cost its members and will cause irreparable harm to the travel consortium business as a whole. They are rushing to cram through a vote while withholding key information and competing offers,” he added.

Ensemble says it is not responding to the allegations.