Audley Travel tour operator explores business sale

Wed, 05 Aug 2015 | BUSINESS SALE

A sale of upmarket tour operator Audley Travel is on the cards with Rothschild bought into advise.

Equistone, Audley's private equity owner, has hired advisers to run the sale process, although at the moment there are no indications of who the potential purchaser might be.

A price of around £200 million is being mooted, which would provide Equistone with a healthy return following its original investment of £90 million back in 2012.

Audley itself was founded by Craig Burkinshaw and John Brewe. It began life as Asian Journeys back in 1996 but grew into Audley as they expanded their offer of tailor-made holidays and safaris.

Now the business has annual revenues of some £150 million and boasts a London and Boston, US, address.

The sale of Audley is the latest in a recent influx of mergers and acquisitions in the travel sector. Onthebeach, a private equity-owned company, is said to be considering a £250 million float, while Travel Counsellors and are among the others in the sector to have changed hands recently.

Equistone, meanwhile, will be continuing its own investment in the holiday sector and maintains its £100 million investment in Travel Counsellors, which was completed last October.

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