All Leisure Group has acquired the escorted tours specialist Page & Moy Travel Group for £4.2 million.
Alternative Investment Market-listed All Leisure owns tour operators Voyages of Discovery, Swan Hellenic, Hebridean Island Cruises and Discover Egypt. The acquisition will be funded with a £5.8 million loan from a consortium of individual investors.
Travel Weekly understands Acromas Holdings, the owner of Saga and Titan Travel, had also been in the running to buy the company but the All Leisure deal was secured last night.
The Page & Moy Travel Group, which incorporates the Travelsphere, Page & Moy and Just You brands, carries around 100,000 customers each year and is expected to make around £2 million profit this year.
All Leisure Group said the acquisition was "wholly aligned with its strategy and has excellent commercial rationale".
Roger Allard, All Leisure Group executive chairman, said: "This acquisition is an excellent fit and will ensure that the enlarged All Leisure group is better placed to meet the on-going challenges facing the travel industry which are the toughest ever seen.
"There will be some brand and overhead rationalisation required to deliver the necessary synergies over the next few years. Furthermore, the enlarged database, with a potential reach of up to 4 million households in the over 55s age group, will benefit all brands across the enlarged group."
The company announced in December that the Page & Moy tour operator brand would be phased out this year and cease to exist from 2013. The company was rebranded to Page & Moy Travel Group in 2010 from Kaleidoscope Travel Group ahead of the Page & Moy brand marking its 50 year anniversary.
The company said the decision formed part of a four-year strategy to make Page & Moy Travel Group profitable. Chief executive Ian Smith said at the time: “We believe it is important for our business to focus single-mindedly on one brand for the escorted sector and one brand for the escorted single traveller.”
Former Lunn Poly boss Smith replaced William Burton, himself a former executive of Thomson, which owned Lunn Poly, in June 2011 took over at the helm of the firm which employs 300 people and is based in Market Harborough.
Private equity firm Electra Partners Europe bought the Travelsphere Group, as Page & Moy was known then, from venture capital firm HgCapital in 2006 in a deal worth around £180 million. The main shareholders in the business were understood to be two banks, HSBC and Credit Agricole.