THE Co-operative Group's Travelcare business has acquired Medinland ? which trades under various brand names including Hello Holidays, Journeys Direct and Sun Choice ? for an undisclosed sum.
The Chingford-based company, which sells independently-packaged holidays direct to the public via teletext and the internet, has annual sales of over £ 20 million.
This acquisition forms part of the Travelcare strategy to grow both independent travel and direct sales.
Formed in 1998, Medinland has three call centres, one in Chingford and two in Sheffield. Medinland managing director Patricia Rossello-Palmer and director Richard Knight will stay with the business and its staff will be unaffected.
Amanda Williams, general manager of Travelcare, stressed that Medinland would continue to operate under its current management and operational structure. "This is good news for both businesses and we extend a warm welcome to Medinland staff," she said.
"Travelcare is committed to meeting changing consumer needs by developing and expanding its direct and e-commerce sales capabilities and the growth in the independent travel sector, a process already begun with our recent purchases of Cheapest Flights and Just Flights.
"Medinland already has a number of strong strategic alliances with overseas hoteliers and has made recent significant investment in automated booking systems. When this is combined with our own e-commerce expertise, we expect to make considerable further progress in developing Medinland's business."
Patricia Rossello-Palmer commented: "Being part of Travelcare, which already has extensive skills in the sales channels in which we operate, will help Medinland maintain its rapid growth in a highly challenging market."
Medinland operates five key brands: Journeys Direct (www.journeysdirect.com), Hello Holidays (www.helloholidays.com), Sun Choice (www.sun-choice.com), Fiesta Sun (www.fiestasun.co.uk) and 2Can Travel (www.searchtravelonline.com).