A West Midlands travel business has been snapped up by the United Co-op Travel Group in a deal which doubles the turnover of its business travel division to £60 million.

Stafford-based Hourds has six branches in Milton Keynes, Wales and the North of England. The business has a turnover of £25 million.

The acquisition increases United's share of the lucrative business travel sector and brings with it all of Hourds' existing staff.

Mike Greenacre, general manager for the Rochdalebased United Co-op Travel Group, said: "I am very pleased to welcome all the Hourds colleagues who are joining us at a very exciting time for our business.

"This is another important acquisition for United Co-op Travel Group, which will consolidate and strengthen our position in the business travel sector."

He added: "Hourds is a consistently profitable business with a wide client base and a reputation for good, innovative client services which makes it an ideal compliment to enhance and build on the success already achieved by our business travel division.

"The acquisition of Hourds Travel, allied to our own organic growth in recent years, consolidates our position as one of the top 15 business travel operators in the UK.

"It also underlines Business Travel's position as a core part of the society's dynamic and diversified Travel Group.

"With a projected annual turnover of £60 million, our business travel operation is ideally placed to offer an excellent service to business customers and to make a significant contribution to Travel Group ' s developing profitability."