Buyer sought for Shearings coach holiday company

Mon, 18 Apr 2011 | BUSINESS SALE

Coach holiday company, Shearings, has reportedly been put up for sale by its owners, with a rumoured price tag of around $40 million.

The owners of the company - London-listed private equity company, 3i - are said to have enlisted PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to lead the search for a new private equity investor to back the existing management team in a buy-out.

The move comes less than a year after 3i first explored is options for selling the Wigan-based business, when it appointed advisors from Deloitte to lead the search for a new buyer for the company.

A source close to the companies said that PwC will begin its new auction process shortly and that there had already been a number of expressions of interest from potential backers. The source said, "Lots of potential buyers have been knocking on the door."

3i bought Shearings in 2005 in a buy-out from Bridgepoint Capital. The deal saw them merge Shearings with another coach travel company, Wallace Arnold. The company now operates a fleet of 250 coaches and a chain of 50 hotels.

The company is currently riding a wave of success that has been founded people seeking cheaper holiday options during the financial stresses of the recession. Just last month it announced a 6 per cent rise in bookings compared to last year, with record sales growth of 15 per cent at its value-focused brands National Holidays and Caledonian.

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