Carlson Wagonlit Travel has announced it has acquired Kaleva Travel, the Finland-based travel management company with which CWT has partnered since 1995 to serve clients in several key European markets. With annual sales volume of more than $450 million USD, privately owned Kaleva Travel is Finland’s largest travel agency, specialising in business travel.
CWT’s business relationship with Kaleva Travel has expanded geographically over the years and today includes partner operations in Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania. As a result of this acquisition, CWT now has a wholly owned presence in each of these important markets.
Mika Kiljunen, CEO of Kaleva Travel, will continue to lead the existing operations under CWT’s ownership and will report to Patrick Andersen, CWT executive vice president, Nordic countries. In addition to Mr Kiljunen, CWT today welcomes Kaleva Travel’s 450 employees.
Mr Kiljunen shared that joining CWT is in the best interest of Kaleva Travel’s employees and customers, enabling his team to offer the same high-quality service and travel options clients have long enjoyed, while creating additional opportunities through CWT’s global network and resources.
“Our clients’ needs have expanded as companies of all sizes increasingly find themselves participating in a global economy. At the same time, expectations have increased as clients seek a true consultant to help guide their travel decisions,” Mr Kiljunen explained.
CWT will greatly benefit from Kaleva Travel’s market-leading position and strong local service in the five countries where the agencies formerly partnered. “This acquisition represents a natural progression of the long-standing relationship CWT has enjoyed with Kaleva Travel,” Mr Andersen said. “Our organizations share a mutual respect and trust built on many years of working together. Perhaps more importantly, our cultures are well aligned around strong business results and a client-centric focus that emphasizes traveller satisfaction as one of the most important indicators of our success.”
Integration of the two companies is underway and will continue in the coming months. Throughout the transition, the CWT and Kaleva Travel teams will remain focused on delivering the strong service each organisations’ customers have come to expect, while making every effort to ensure a seamless transition for clients.