Operations

Tour/Travel Company Integrates Charter & Tour Business

Posted on August 31, 2011

WICHITA, Kansas — Village Tours & Travel closed a deal July 1 to buy the assets of Salina Charter Coach, a charter and tour business based in Salina, Kansas, The Tenney Group reported this week.

Salina Charter Coach will now operate under the Village Tours & Travel brand. The acquisition is one of two bus companies Village Tours & Travel has purchased through The Tenney Group, based in Arlington, Texas, in 2011. [The second one will be reported in the Sept. 7 edition of LCT E-News].

Village has operations in Wichita, Salina, and Oklahoma City. It operates about 30 motorcoaches and offers more than 200 tour packages on an annual basis.

The terms of the deal, which took about six months to negotiate and arrange, were not disclosed. Village Tours gained three motorcoaches as part of the deal, which was handled by veteran transportation industry broker Charles Tenney.

The deal stemmed from the Tenney team reaching out to and beginning a business relationship with Village Tours and Travel, said Spencer Tenney, the son of Charles Tenney and a broker at The Tenney Group.

“I reached out to [Liles] and caught wind that he needed to sell,” Spencer Tenney told LCT. “We stayed in touch over the course of time. “We understood what they wanted to do and we presented to them opportunities to do a few things.”

The Tenney team ascertained that Village Tours and Travel wanted to eliminate the future possibility of competitors or outside investors coming into their market region and interfering with its growth strategy, Tenney said. By acquiring solid customer lists and well established brands, the business could undergird its position as a travel agency and a charter and tour provider in the Kansas region.

“Once we could start talking about what to accomplish, it looked much more cost-effective to buy [Salina Charter Coach] than for a competitor or new investor,” Spencer Tenney said.

Salina Charter Coach is one of the oldest and most established charter bus companies in Kansas. Its customers will gain access to a wide variety of new  service options exclusively available through Village Travel & Tours.

“This acquisition allows our company to capture the 20-year history of Salina Charter Coach, its loyal customer base, and most importantly, a significant competitive advantage in the region,” said Jeff Arensdorf, co-owner of Village, in a press release.

Dallas Liles, former owner of Salina Charter Coach, said in a press release that   he had tried to sell his business during all of 2010 through a general business broker. Nothing of substance took place in the sale effort until he hired The Tenney Group.

“The Tenney Group has done an excellent job with sale of my business,” Liles said in a press release. “If I would have called them sooner, I would have saved a lot of time, and I am convinced they could have helped me accomplish much more through my sale.”

The sale was motivated by the fact that Liles wanted to retire, Tenney told LCT. Referring to the previous broker, Tenney said some common mistakes that occur during sales negotiations include misunderstandings on the value of a business. When it comes time to show a buyer the value of a transportation business and what it can do, information can be difficult to communicate. The value of the business is often perceived differently among potential buyers and the seller. The transportation industry is a unique arena when it comes to dealmaking because parties can easily over- or under-estimate the market potential for transportation companies on the selling block.

Jeff Arensdorf of Village Tours & Travel added, “Although The Tenney Group represented the seller, they clearly added value to Village’s transaction  experience.”

Information: Village Tours & Travel, www.villagetours.net, (316) 721-4455; The Tenney Group, www.thetenneygroup.com, (877) 642-8033

Sources: The Tenney Group; Martin Romjue, LCT editor

 

Related Topics: bus market, business deals, Charles Tenney, charter and tour, charter and tour operators, mergers & acquisitions, motorcoaches, Spencer Tenney

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