TYNESIDE’S Inta Group, which runs the Bill Goff golfing holiday brand, has joined forces with a Scottish company to look together for further growth across Europe.
The Newcastle firm’s merger with Ayr company 3D Golf has created a leisure business focused on golf and with a turnover of about £25m.
Chairman Paul Challen says the joint venture will concentrate on developing their respective strengths, with the North East company particularly strong in Portugal, where it employs 25 full-time staff, and 3D strong in France and Spain.
Mr Challen has built the Inta Group into a £12m turnover company after buying Bill Goff Golf Tours from its founder, the former fruit and veg seller and hotelier Bill Goff 15 years ago.
Back then it took 200 golfers abroad a year. Inta Group now takes 28,000 and takes annual bookings for 30,000 tee-times.
As well as Bill Goff, Inta Group has developed the 4golf.com no-frills internet golf holiday business and the golf course booking business teetimesanywhere.com.
The merger idea came at a recent golfing trade show where Mr Challen approached John Derwent, the son of 3D Golf founder Frank Derwent about a possible deal. Mr Challen said: “Our businesses are about the same size and it just seemed the right time for us to come together. We are very strong in Portugal and 3D have a strong presence in France and Spain.
“The merger allows us to further develop these core markets without competing against each other while giving us the opportunity to increase our joint profile in other European markets.”