Carlson Wagonlit Travel†announced today that it has acquired an additional 26% stake in its Indian joint venture, from AFL Private Ltd -
CWT now has majority control of the joint venture with a 76 percent ownership stake. AFL Private Ltd. will continue to be the remaining shareholder.
This transaction underscores the ongoing commitment CWT has to India's corporate travel market and the importance of its operations in India, which serve a growing global client base, as well as a vast and ever-increasing portfolio of Indian "blue chip" companies.
The CWT joint venture in India dates back more than 10 years, beginning with a partnership which was transformed into a 50/50 joint venture in 2000. Since then, under the leadership of Praveen Gandhi, chief executive officer, CWT India, the joint venture has grown from sales of US$42 million to more than US$230 million in 2006. Today, CWT is the market leader in India with 12 offices across 10 cities and more than 800 employees.
Reflecting the company's leadership, CWT India received the Galileo award for "Best Corporate Travel Agency" for the last two years. In April, it also received the South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) industry poll award in the category for corporate travel.
Mr. Gandhi will continue to serve as chief executive officer, while Cyrus Guzder, chairman, AFL Private Ltd., will remain chairman of the board for CWT India.