Scottish adventure tourism outfit completes MBO

Wed, 20 Sep 2017

One of the UK’s leading mountaineering centres, Ice Factor Group, has successfully completed a management buy-out in a deal worth £523,000.

Thanks to a funding deal with HSBC the adventure tourism business, which has its main site located in Kinlochleven, hopes to enable to business to embrace market growth and attract more customers.

Jamie Smith, a keen amateur mountaineer who founded the firm in 2001, has re-acquired a 100 per cent stake in the group. Since 2003, the group has grown by 783 per cent, with annual revenues growing from £484,000 to £4.2 million.

Ice Factor Group encompasses two separate sites at Kinochleven in the Highlands, called Ice Factor, and Snow Factor in Braehead near Glasgow, both in Scotland.

Ice Factor is one of the world’s largest indoor ice-climbing facilities, featuring a 15-metre high indoor ice wall which is encrusted with snow and névé that is one of the most advanced in Europe.

Snow Factor, meanwhile, was originally called SNO! Zone until bought out by Ice Factor in 2011, which features a 200-meter snow slope and a second indoor ice wall.

The group has confirmed that alongside new plans confirmed in the management buy-out it will also operate a new £30 million snow dome in Middlesbrough, which is being constructed as part of a local regeneration project.

Smith said that he hoped the buy-out would allow him and his team to serve customers “with the best snow and ice experiences in the world”.

He added: “The buy-out frees up a significant amount of time for the senior management team and resources that can quickly be reinvested back into further improving the quality of the snow sports experience for our customers across both sites.”


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