FLIGHT CENTRE LANDS IN QUEBEC AS PART OF ITS AGGRESSIVE INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION STRATEGY

FLIGHT CENTRE LANDS IN QUEBEC AS PART OF ITS AGGRESSIVE INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION STRATEGY
Flight Centre's (ASX: FLT) international expansion strategy continues after it acquired a travel operator based in Canada's Quebec province for an undisclosed sum.

The Brisbane-based travel group has picked up Les Voyages Laurier du Vallon (LDV), one of Quebec's largest independent travel agencies, to strengthen its presence in the predominantly French-speaking area where it has been under-represented.

The travel company has six offices in Quebec City and one in Montreal, has luxury leisure and corporate businesses, along with a meetings, conferences and events (MICE) business and employs around 100 staff.

LDV generates around $100 million in total transactional value and just over $9 million in revenue from its operations.

FLT managing director Graham Turner (pictured) says the Canadian acquisition will fast track the company's growth in the North American market.

"Quebec is a large and attractive market for FLT but our ability to expand and grow market share in this province has, until now, been constrained," Turner says.

"By working with LDV we will be able to leverage the business' local expertise, experience and linguistic capabilities to grow our presence in Canada's second largest market, which is a major corporate hub and home to a large and active leisure travel market," he says.

FLT will initially acquire 75 per cent of LDV and will use company cash to fund the deal. A rolling put and call option is in place over the remaining 25 per cent and can be exercised after 31 July 2019.

LDV's general manager Nicolas Racine will continue to run the business and join Flight Centre's senior leadership group.

The buy follows that a Mexican travel operator and Thailand-based hotel operator in July.

FLT shares were trading up by three per cent to $45.75 at around 2pm (AEST).

Business News Australia

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