Transonic Travel 

 

 

Transonic Travel is a market leader in air ticket consolidation, leisure and airline representation. It was
established in 1949 and from 1987, was 50% owned by British Airways. The former Joint Managing Directors, Eddy Baldacchino and Les Cassar, were rightly viewed as travel industry leaders and the company had a well established and justly earned reputation in Australia.

In the second quarter of 2002, Peter Lacaze and Wolseley Private Equity approached Concorde (subsequently renamed Transonic Travel) with an interesting proposition. The offer was made to buy the business, maintain its operations, retain both Eddy and Les and make Peter the new CEO. This management buy-in approach had been carefully researched, met all stakeholder needs and the process for negotiation was undertaken.

Transonic Travel was acquired by Wolseley and its investment partners in December 2002. At the time there were significant opportunities for near-term performance improvement and growth. Wolseley helped improve revenues and reduced the cost base, and was actively involved in acquistions.

With management, Wolseley positioned and led the IPO of Transonic Travel within 17 months of acquisition. Wolseley maintained an equity interest and a directorship of the listed company and played a key role in its subsequent takeover two years later. This resulted in Transonic being aquired for more than twice its listing price.