UNITED Co-operatives have bought a business travel operation with branches in Warrington and Heswall as the society continues to expand by acquisition.
The announcement of the acquisition of Corniche Travel Management for an undisclosed sum follows hard on the heels of the agreement to take over 15 motor dealerships from Ilkeston Co-op in a mult-million pound deal.
Both acquisitions are being funded from United's £ 100 million ?war chest' set aside to expand the business across the society's extended trading area following its merger with Yorkshire Co-operatives and confirms United Co-op Travel Group as the country's biggest independent travel business.
Corniche Travel Management is part of Corniche Travel Limited, which is not included in the acquisition deal.
Mike Greenacre, General Manager of United Co-op Travel Group, said: "Corniche represents an important piece in our strategy to consolidate and build on the success of our existing business, Apollo Business Travel, and strengthen our position in the business travel sector.
"Corniche is an ideal complement to Apollo Business Travel as it is a consistently profitable business with a wide client base and a reputation for good, innovative services."
Paul Broadhead will be expanding his current role of Managing Director of Apollo Business Travel to take over the additional responsibility for Corniche, though Corniche manager Alan Jackson will be staying with the business along with all 32 staff at Heswall and Warrington.
Said Mr Jackson: " This is an important move which will increase our overall share of the business travel market and increase our profitability even further."