3i builds UK coach travel platform

European private equity house 3i plans to merge UK coach company Shearings, newly acquired from Bridgepoint for £200m, with existing portfolio company CHG.

3i, the UK based private equity firm, has acquired a 61.5 percent stake in Shearings from a syndicate led by Bridgepoint in a deal worth £200 million (€289 million; $376 million).

The company will now be merged with Coach Holiday Group (CHG), a company which 3i has owned since 1997. 3i will own a 67.8 percent stake in the merged company, WA Shearings. The company's management will own the remainder.
 
CHG is the parent company of several UK coach holiday brands including Wallace Arnold, National Holidays and Caledonian Travel. WA Shearings will continue to use a multi-brand approach to sell holidays to the affluent over 55s demographic.
 
3i said in a statement that it plans to rationalise the company's infrastructure and cost base and increase its product range, and pursue a strategy of growth, organically and through acquisition.
 
Deloitte acted as financial advisors on the CHG deal; Addleshaw Goddard advised on legal matters. Debt funding came from Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate and Structured Finance, HBOS Acquisition Finance and Indigo Capital.
 
Bridgepoint is a European mid-market private equity company, headquartered in London and operating six other offices.