A LEADING online travel company in Bolton has been bought by over-50s specialists Saga.

The firm has taken a majority share in Destinology, which offers tailor-made luxury holidays to destinations like the Maldives, Dubai, the Caribbean, the Far East, the USA and Europe.

It was reported that Saga paid about £20 million for a 75 per cent stake in the Bolton business.

Destinology, founded in 2004 by Dominic Speakman, employs more than 100 staff, mainly at its headquarters in Hall Lane, Lostock, and served 30,000 holidaymakers last year.

Mr Speakman will remain as president and retain a shareholding in the business.

He said: “We felt that Saga presented the most compelling opportunity to take the business to the next level.

"The deal will allow our talented management team to continue to innovate and grow the business, working alongside the vast experience of the Saga team.

"Destinology will retain its distinct identity and absolute focus on quality and delighting customers. This will enable Destinology to strengthen its position as the UK’s leading luxury tour operator.”

Mr Speakman said his company’s “online skills and flair” would be matched by Saga’s financial backing, purchasing clout and huge database.

Saga said the acquisition, its first since it floated on the Stock Exchange, demonstrates a commitment to expanding its travel business, as well as accessing the affluent younger element of Saga’s database of 10 million people.

Saga chief executive Lance Batchelor said: “I have been impressed with the quality of the team at Destinology.

“It is an excellent fit with our existing travel brands and, as part of the Saga family, they will benefit from our sharing expertise and buying power.”