RBI agrees to sell UK travel portfolio to Clive Jacobs-led team

Travel Weekly UK and the TWgroup is to be acquired by Holiday Autos founder Clive Jacobs.

The acquisition will see the paper undergo expansion while the deal involves all of the TWgroup's associated brands including Gazetteers.com, Travolution, the Globe Travel Awards and associated websites and events.

The announcement came this morning from publishing and information group Reed Business Information (RBI), which said Clive Jacobs and former TWgroup publishing director Simon Ferguson had persuaded it to accept an offer for the business from Mr Jacobs' newly formed TW Group Ltd.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is expected to complete early in August.

Clive Jacobs, chairman of the TW Group, said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to acquire the leading publications and information services in the travel and tourism industry, and look forward to helping Simon and his successful team build on the group's market leadership."

Simon Ferguson, who had been publishing director of TWgroup and Gazetteers before that for six years prior to leaving RBI in March and who will be chief executive of the new company, commented: "This is a very exciting development for all those involved with the TWgroup and for the whole of the travel trade."

That sentiment was echoed by Jane Burgess, divisional managing director of RBI who believed the TWgroup team and the travel industry should be "enthusiastic about this" exciting development.

Burgess added: "It will mean investment and expansion for what are strong brands and businesses, with great teams, at a time when we [RBI], inevitably, have competing priorities for our own investment funds.

"The travel portfolio has been a highly valued part of RBI, but we recognise that, under Clive's independent ownership, the team will be able to integrate completely into the industry they serve.

"Clive, Simon and their management at TW Group Ltd are committed to our talented people and will provide long-term investment and a secure future for the team and these leading brands."

Mr Jacobs said his new management team at TW Group Ltd would include three highly experienced non-executive directors: Michael East, travel industry management consultant and entrepreneur; Colin Morrison, who has managed international media businesses at RBI, NatMags, Future and Emap; and Ian Findlay, mergers and acquisitions director at Ariadne Capital and former director of Corporate Development at Emap plc, and development director at RBI.

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