Western & Oriental acquires Eclipse

Luxury travel group Western & Oriental has acquired London agency Eclipse Conference Management for £3.1m. Eclipse was established ten years ago and its core clients are the pharmaceutical and government agency markets. Its profit before tax last year was £604,336 on sales of £6m. The company’s purchase of the agency will comprise £1.2m-worth of shares in Western & Oriental and £1,865,884 in cash. The acquisition will increase annual sales in Western & Oriental’s conference and incentive division to an estimated £12m and boosts the group’s luxury C&I business, which includes Lynton Cooper and Travel Management Team. It is Western & Oriental’s ninth acquisition since March 2006. Eclipse staff will move into Western & Oriental’s new office in Victoria, London. The move is expected to immediately reduce costs and boost the potential for increased profitability. Western &Oriental chairman David Howell said: “We look forward to working with the Eclipse team, who have successfully grown their business over the past ten years. This acquisition increases our scale significantly in the luxury conference and incentive market and brings an additional profitable business into the group.” He added that the group would make further acquisitions, in-keeping with its “buy and build” strategy.

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