Phoenix Equity Partners (Phoenix), a leading UK middle-market private equity firm, has to announcd that it has entered into a binding contract to sell Riviera Travel (Riviera) to Silverfleet Capital (Silverfleet).
Founded in 1984 and based in Burton-on-Trent in the UK, Riviera is a major operator of escorted tours with a focus on the over 55s market. The Company provides European tour holidays, river and ocean cruises, city breaks, and long-haul tours with varied itineraries combining leisure with education and entertainment. Riviera continues to diversify its range of holidays and currently offers tours and cruises to 50 countries, attracting over 118,000 customers per year.
Phoenix first partnered with Riviera’s CEO David Clemson in 2014 to support a management buyout of the business. Since then, Riviera has significantly increased revenues and profitability by driving growth through the direct-to-consumer channel, adding new and complementary products, and expanding internationally. David will continue to lead the business through the next stage of its growth.
David Burns, Managing Partner at Phoenix, said: “We are delighted with the strong growth that Riviera has achieved during our investment period. This growth, combined with Riviera’s recognition in the industry – including Which? Travel brand of the year 2017 – is testament to the complete focus on customer satisfaction at Riviera. It has been a huge pleasure working with the Riviera team and we wish them every continued success for the future.”
David Clemson, CEO of Riviera, said: “I am immensely proud of what we have achieved over the past three years and I’ve really valued our partnership with Phoenix. I look forward to working with Silverfleet over the coming years as we continue to provide fantastic experiences to both our existing, loyal customers and new holidaymakers alike.”
Corporate finance advisers on the transaction were PwC. Travers Smith (legal), PwC (financial due diligence), and LEK (commercial due diligence) advised Phoenix and Riviera.
Deloitte advised Silverfleet on the transaction structure and tax aspects of the deal. The transaction was led by Roger Wightman and James Hatton from the Deloitte M&A tax team, with specialist input from our VAT and management equity teams. The team leveraged its previous experience and insights from recent successful Private Equity deals in the tour operator and travel sector, and brought in expertise from across the firm in order to deliver the transaction.