Colchester-based travel management firm Gray Dawes acquires CTM

The Octagon in Colchester, where travel management company Gray Dawes is based.

The Octagon in Colchester, where travel management company Gray Dawes is based. - Credit: Archant

Essex-based travel management group Gray Dawes has expanded again with the acquisition for an undisclosed sum of CTM, based at Redhill in Surrey.

Suzanne Horner, chief executive at Gray Dawes.

Suzanne Horner, chief executive at Gray Dawes. - Credit: Archant

CTM, which has been operating in the business travel sector more than 25 years, is Gray Dawes’ fifth acquisition in the last three years.

All CTM staff will be retained, with its operations moving to Gray Dawes’ central London office.

Suzanne Horner, chief executive of Gray Dawes, which is based in Colchester and also has offices in Cambridge, Leamington Spa and Jersey, said: “We continue to execute on our multi-year acquisition plan and I am delighted to welcome CTM employees and clients to the Gray Dawes Group.

“Since the outset, we have been focused on identifying businesses that share our ethos and culture of innovation coupled with unflinchingly high levels of customer service; CTM comfortably ticks all those boxes.”

Phil Cook, chief executive of CTM’s former parent company, P&P Group, added: “I am delighted to be handing over the reins of CTM to Suzanne and the team at Gray Dawes Group.

“Their expertise in business integration is second to none and being part of a much larger travel organisation will deliver a range of new opportunities to CTM staff and clients alike. P&P Group is now looking forward to investing in the continued growth of Vibe travel technology and our multiple leisure brands.”

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Gray Dawes’ latest expansion comes exactly a year after it doubled in size through the twin acquisition of Cambridge Business Travel and the Travel Management Group, following on the from the acquisition of the Business Travel Partnership and Travel Focus in 2015.

Gray Dawes was originally established by Archibald Gray and Edwin Sandys Dawes in 1865 as a shipping and insurance business. The company moved into travel agency in 1927 and in 1946 became one of the first companies to receive an IATA (International Air Transport Association) Ticketing Licence.

The company, which is owned by Edinburgh-based Inchcape Family Estates, opened its national reservations centre in Colchester in 1999.

Last year also saw it join the Radius network which delivers global travel programmes for multinational companies through leading independent agencies.