"Timing is everything”: Navigatr eyes Ensemble acquisition

“Timing is everything”: Navigatr eyes Ensemble acquisition

NEW YORK — Navigatr Group and Ensemble Travel Group have announced plans that, if approved, would see Navigatr acquire Ensemble’s North American consortium.

A shareholder meeting with more details, including information on a shareholder vote, is set for April 14.

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 Group has also acquired a number of well-known travel brands over the years and folded them into the group’s operations. They include The Travel Network, Worldview Travel and Horizon & Co.

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.

Navigatr would leverage Ensemble’s strengths in cruise, tour, marketing, and data monetization with Navigatr’s complementary platforms and expertise in delivering technology that will enable agencies to sell more effectively by bundling services into single price transactions which together will enhance and streamline the overall member experience.

In anticipation of shareholder approval, the Ensemble and Navigatr teams have been working on a transition plan to ensure consistency of experience for members, suppliers and the Ensemble team.

David Harris, the current CEO of Ensemble Travel Group, would assume the role of Chairman if the deal goes through. Michael Johnson, previous President of Travel Edge, would assume the role of President.

Says Harris: “While the pandemic has certainly brought many challenges to our industry, it has also given us the opportunity to explore new ideas and relationships. While it is up to the shareholders to decide on the future of Ensemble, this is an exciting opportunity that would couple Ensemble’s areas of expertise and robust agency network with Navigatr’s great depth of resources that we know will create a compelling value proposition within the consortia space.”

Johnson adds: “In the category of ‘timing is everything’, Navigatr group was in the process of launching its own consortium when the idea of pursuing an acquisition of Ensemble was considered. Navigatr’s dedication to improving agency margins through technology is a major addition to Ensemble’s value proposition. This partnership is a prime example of where the whole would be greater than the sum of its parts providing significant benefits to members and suppliers alike.”