Livingstone’s Consumer sector team has advised the shareholders of ITC Luxury Travel, one of the UK’s largest independent luxury tour operators, on the management buy-out backed by NorthEdge Capital.
Founded in 1974, Chester-based ITC, led by CEO Jen Atkinson, specialises in luxury tailor-made holidays worldwide. Employing 200 staff, the company reported turnover of £80m in the year up to April 2016 – up from £43m in 2013. This growth followed an MBO in 2014 backed by Paul Pindar, and the acquisition of Western & Oriental in June 2015, which expanded the core luxury beach offering and developed Group-wide expertise in experiential holidays. The company recently featured in the BBC documentary, “The Millionaires Holiday Club”, covering luxury holidays to Barbados, Jamaica and India and was the first travel company to charter Concorde.
NorthEdge has acquired a majority stakeholding in the business to support Jen Atkinson and her senior team deliver on planned growth, supported by investment in IT, management, staff, product and customer service.
Jen Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer at ITC, said: “We’re delighted to have NorthEdge on board as a partner as we look to increase market share in the luxury travel space. The investment from NorthEdge will allow us to invest in the training and development of our sales teams, as well as developing our IT infrastructure to ensure we can continue to deliver exceptional experiences and market leading service to our customers. We will also be looking to broaden our product offering beyond our current luxury and tailor made proposition.
“I would like to thank Livingstone for their hands-on guidance and support throughout the process – the combination of their experience of completing a number of deals across the travel sector, their expertise in acting for management shareholders in private equity deals and their real understanding of ITC and our culture, meant they were able to add real value across every aspect of the deal as they guided us towards the successful conclusion of a transaction that all of the team are delighted with.”
Simon Cope-Thompson, Partner at Livingstone, commented: “We are delighted to have helped Jen, Paul and the other shareholders complete this high profile deal. ITC is an excellent business, with a strong brand and an incredibly loyal customer base. With NorthEdge’s backing, the management team have the support of a partner who will work with them as they continue to deliver on their growth strategy.”
Gavin Orde, Director at Livingstone, concluded: “The management team has done an excellent job in integrating Western & Oriental into the business and improving profitability. They have demonstrated their ability to grow the business and we look forward to watching with interest the next stage of the company’s development.”
This is the latest Travel sector deal completed by Livingstone’s Consumer sector team. Others recent transactions include: the sale of Fleetway Travel to Synova Capital and Tenzing PE, LDC’s investment in iglu.com, the Scott Dunn buy-out backed by Inflexion, Destinology’s sale to Saga Plc, JacTravel’s acquisition of TotalStay Group and their buy-out backed by Vitruvian Partners.