Great Rail Journeys has been acquired by UK based private equity firm Duke Street.

The deal sees the brand bought from its previous private equity owner ECI, but details of the financials have not been revealed.

New owners Duke Street plans to support the existing management team, led by Peter Liney.

Following the acquisition, Charles Gurassa will be appointed as chairman. As well as extensive experience of the travel sector gathered during his executive career, Charles’ current non-executive board roles include chairman of Channel 4, deputy chairman of Easyjet and senior independent director at Merlin Entertainments.

Peter Liney, chief executive of Great Rail Journeys, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Duke Street. The team very quickly demonstrated a clear understanding of our business, and their experience both of growing businesses in the US and of river cruising was highly attractive to us.

“After five great years of working with ECI, who have helped us to internationalise the business, add new product lines, grow our profits and develop our management team, we are very excited to embark on the next chapter of our story with Duke Street.”

Tom Salmon, partner at Duke Street, said: “Our experience of backing market leaders in growing segments of the European leisure sector makes Great Rail Journeys a very exciting investment proposition. It is an outstanding business which delivers very high quality service to its clients. Having known Peter Liney for a number of years, we are looking forward to working with him, Charles Gurassa and the wider team to continue to grow the business both in the UK and internationally.”

ECI first invested in Great Rail Journeys in March 2013 to help the company build on its market position and develop new area of growth.

As a result, GRJ has tapped into new source markets including Australia and more recently the US, launching an office in New York last year.

Chris Watt, managing partner at ECI, added: “We are pleased to announce the sale of Great Rail Journeys to Duke Street. Today’s deal adds to our strong track record in helping travel companies to grow and realise their full potential.

“This has been a tremendously successful and enjoyable partnership working with Peter Liney and his team. Since 2013, Great Rail Journeys has achieved a huge amount with ECI’s support and today is the world’s leading company in the escorted rail holiday sector with an exciting future ahead of it.”