Flight Centre Travel Group will acquire San Jose, Calif.-based Casto Travel's U.S. operations. The acquisition continues the Australian group's expansion into the United States.

Announced Friday afternoon, the acquisition is expected to close in early February, Flight Centre said.

Casto president and CEO Marc Casto and founder Maryles Casto will stay with the company in executive roles.

The acquisition strengthens Flight Centre's presence in the United States.

"Casto strengthens our overall U.S. operation, which includes the highly successful and rapidly growing corporate travel business, along with our on and offline leisure businesses and wholesaler Gogo Vacations," Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner said in a statement. "This will give us greater scale in Silicon Valley and in the large West Coast market, where we previously had a relatively small corporate travel presence, while also complementing our larger operations on the East Coast and in other key locations."

Casto Travel, founded in 1974, has 85 employees and does around $120 million in annual sales. The agency primarily serves corporate travelers but has leisure offerings, as well. It has offices in San Jose, San Francisco and Tiburon, Calif.

Flight Centre's FCM Travel Solutions, its flagship corporate travel business, has headquarters in New York. The group also owns Liberty Travel, which is its primary retail presence in the U.S. with more than 170 stores in 14 states, among many other brands. 


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