• M&A Leisure deal flow bulletin

    October 2018 edition


M&A Leisure deal flow bulletin - October 2018 edition

31 October 2018

Welcome to the latest edition of our bulletin – the BDO M&A Leisure team's overview of the latest M&A activity in the leisure space.

To view our recent M&A Leisure sector credentials, client testimonials and team contacts download our M&A Leisure Credentials brochure. To view our complete Corporate Finance experience in the Leisure sector, explore our latest deals.


  • BDO advised Classic Collection Holidays (CCH) on its sale to On The Beach for a reported consideration of £20m (source: On The Beach). CCH is a UK-based travel business with strong distribution through independent travel agencies. CCH’s offline holiday bookings will expand On the Beach Group’s consumer reach.
  • BDO advised On The Go Tours, a UK-based global escorted tour provider, on its investment from Alcuin Capital Partners.
  • LDC has acquired Neilson Active Holidays, the UK-based holiday and tour operator, from Risk Capital Partners for an undisclosed consideration.
  • The management team of Torquay Leisure Hotels, the UK-based company engaged in operating hotels, has acquired an undisclosed stake from the UK-based Murrell family for an undisclosed consideration. The management team is backed by Connection Capital and Santander Global Corporate Banking.
  • Duke Street has acquired Great Rail Journeys Partnership (GRJ), the UK-based provider of escorted rail holidays, from ECI Partners for an estimated consideration of £100m (source: MergerMarket). ECI achieved a return of 3.6x on its investment (source: ECI Partners). Duke Street will support GRJ’s current management team led by Peter Liney, to further develop its rail and cruise offerings both in the UK and worldwide.
  • TUI Group, Germany-based travel and tourism company, has acquired Musement. Musement is an Italy-based online platform for activities, tours, museums, shows and art events.
  • Online travel agent eDreams ODIGEO completed a successful €425m refinancing of its debt through the issuance of Senior Secured Notes (source: eDreams ODIGEO).
  • Leading tailor-made wintersports operator Ski Solutions has supported the management buyout of Highlands-based adventure operator, Wilderness Scotland, after securing £3.1m of follow-on investment funding from Mobeus (source: Mobeus). The enlarged group has been renamed Active Travel Group.
  • Amadeus has completed the $1.52 billion takeover of US-based global hospitality technology provider TravelClick from Thoma Bravo (source: Travelclick).   
  • The Appointment Group, a UK-based travel and event management company, was acquired by Apiary Capital for an undisclosed amount. The group will be led by Steve Barrass. Steve joins from dnata Travel (part of the Emirates Group), where he was senior vice president for new ventures.

Restaurants and Bars

  • BDO advised Kentucky Fried Chicken (Great Britain) on the sale of 163 KFC restaurants across the UK as part of the brands global strategy to move towards a capital light model. The transactions involved the sale of 'geographic bundles' to 11 franchise partners.
  • SC Lowy and Investec has agreed to acquire the UK-based operator of the Argentinian restaurant chain, Gaucho Grill, for an undisclosed consideration. The new group will be led by Martin Williams, the founder and chief executive of M Restaurants.
  • Casual Dining Group (CDG) announced a new cash investment of £30m to fund growth opportunities as part of a successful refinancing of the Group. The capital injection and refinancing was led by KKR with the support of management and all other shareholders, including funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management and Pemberton Asset Management.
  • TriSpan has acquired a majority investment in Rosa’s Thai Cafe, the fast-growing UK-based Thai restaurant group, through its dedicated restaurant platform, Rising Stars.

Pubs and Brewers

  • Be At One, a UK-based owner and operator of cocktails bars, has been acquired by Stonegate Pub Company from Piper for an estimated consideration of £50m (source: MergerMarket). The original founding directors of Be At One will leave the business. The group is now led by Andrew Stones, Managing Director, and Toby Rolph as Chief financial officer.
  • Wear Inns, the UK-based pub company, has been acquired by Aprirose, the UK based real estate investment company from NVM Private Equity and BGF for a consideration of around £22.4m (source: MergerMarket).
  • Food & Fuel, the UK-based restaurant and pub chain has been acquired by The Restaurant Group (TRG) from Karen Jones for an estimated consideration of £14.9m (source: MergerMarket). Food & Fuel Ltd consists of 11 premium leasehold pubs in London.
  • Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), the listed UK-based operator of pubs and restaurants, has acquired a 40% stake in 3Sixty Restaurants, the UK-based restaurant group, for an undisclosed consideration.
  • Stonegate Pub Company has announced the acquisition of 15 bars from Novus Leisure, for an undisclosed sum.
  • Purity Brewing Co, one of the UK’s largest independent breweries, has received £7.5m investment from BGF (source: BGF).
  • Coaching Inn Group, the BGF backed coaching inn operator, has secured a new £16.5m debt facility to fund further growth (source: MCA).

Alternative Leisure

  • The Gym Group (TGG), the listed UK-based company that operates low cost gyms, has acquired 13 sites from EasyGym for a cash consideration of £24.7m (source: The Gym Group). A share placing and additional debt will mainly fund the deal.
  • The Coca-Cola Company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Costa Limited from Whitbread. The transaction is expected to close in first half of 2019. The agreed purchase price is £3.9bn which represents a multiple of 16.4x on Costa’s FY18 EBITDA (source: Whitbread). Coca-Cola will fund the transaction with existing cash on hand.
  • Flight Club, the social darts concept, has secured £15m of new growth funding as it looks to further expand its core brand and launch a new concept called Electric Shuffle (source: MCA).
  • All plants, a UK-based vegan meal delivery start-up, has secured £7.5m investment led by Octopus Ventures (source: MCA). The company will use the funds to expand its team, facilities and product range.
  • Vagabond, the London-based wine bar concept led Stephen Finch, has received £3.5m of growth capital investment from Imbiba (source:Imbiba).


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