Intrepid Travel, the world’s largest travel B Corp, has announced a strategic partnership with investment company Genairgy.
The French-based business has secured a minority equity stake in Intrepid’s global business. The strategic partnership will help Intrepid to accelerate its ambitious growth strategy with the goal to become the world’s first $1 billion adventure travel company by 2025.
The agreement will support Intrepid in four key growth areas: digital transformation, product innovation, market expansion and purpose initiatives.
Intrepid Co-founders Darrell Wade and Geoff Manchester, who started the business in 1989, retain majority ownership of the company and remain on the Board as Chairman and Director, respectively.
James Thornton will continue as CEO and a member of the Board; and NonExecutive Directors, Liz Savage and Sarah Morgan, will remain. Genairgy owner Julien Leclercq will join the Board.
In 2019, Intrepid achieved a record year of AUD $491 million of sales. And, in 2020, despite the impacts of the pandemic, it launched more than 100 sustainable local trips and became the first and only tour operator in the world with verified science-based carbon emissions targets.
In March 2021, Intrepid was recognised by Fast Company as one of the most innovative travel companies in the world. “As the travel industry starts to recover from the pandemic, we remain focused on building the best travel company for the world,” says Intrepid’s CEO, James Thornton. “The fact that Genairgy and Intrepid have come together at this time demonstrates real confidence in the future of sustainable experience-rich travel.
It’s clear that what was once considered a niche, will become a mainstay tourism model post-Covid,” he adds. Genairgy’s strategy and values are closely aligned to Intrepid’s – it owns a destination management company (DMC) network, Altai, and has an adventure travel division with several investments in the area.
Genairgy is a family investment company owned by Julien Leclercq – a board member and shareholder of Decathlon, one of the largest sports retailers globally.
“We are excited to find a partner with the same values as us and we look forward to helping Intrepid achieve its full potential as we emerge from the global pandemic,” says Julien Leclercq, owner of Genairgy. “While Intrepid has maintained an impressive history of growth, it was their genuine commitment to sustainable travel and B Corp credentials that truly set them apart,” he adds.
The transaction is expected to complete by early April 2021. Intrepid was advised by PwC and DLA Piper. Genairgy were advised by Canaccord Genuity, EY and MinterEllison.