Avoya Travel, the vacation planning company that includes Avoya Travel Network, is taking on a new investor.
Avoya’s Jeff Anderson on Friday afternoon announced that Certares, the private equity firm that already holds investments in a number of travel companies including Internova and AmaWaterways, has taken a stake in Avoya.
The news means that for the first time in its history, Avoya will have stakeholders outside of the Anderson family.
“We’ve recognized there are tremendous opportunities to collaborate with the right people and right organizations,” Anderson said on Friday, calling Certares “a new shareholder” in the company.
“I think most people would bow their heads and say our model is very solid,” Anderson said. “How do we build upon that? You bring in the right shareholders.”
As part of the changes, the longtime family-run team at the helm of Avoya is also changing.
Co-founders, and brothers, Brad Anderson and Van Anderson are going to gradually step further and further away from the business. Jeff Anderson on Friday said that Van will be retiring “pronto” and “Brand is going to be moving to be a senior advisor for the organization.”
Jeff and Michael Anderson, who were formerly co-presidents, will now work under the titles of co-CEO.
“We are ‘times of change are times of opportunity’ types of people,” Jeff Anderson said. "We already have a very good thing going on here, Certares is very deep into understanding our business and we are very proud that they have decided to put money behind what they see here. We are really just humbled at this.”
What’s going to be different? Aside from the changing executive roles, Anderson said that the investment means “tremendous growth for the future,” growth that the Andersons have been focused on since laying out their 2025 plan in 2018. There are still some things to be worked out.
Anderson did say that “it is going to take some time for us to figure these cool things out” but promised that "the growth we are going to be on is going to be a wild exciting adventure.”
“All of us will look at this as either a challenge or opportunity and my bet is the vast majority of you are looking at this from an opportunity perspective,” he said. “We will be able to do things that we’ve never done in the past without having Certares with us. This game changes now.”