A £467 million deal has been struck for the sale of schools and activity holidays firm PGL.
The long-established company and other educational brands is being sold by Cox & Kings to investment company Midlothian Capital Partners and a consortium of investors.
The deal for HB Education – the holding company for PGL – includes the businesses’ debts.
The companies involved in the disposal include student travel network NST, Travelworks, Studylink and EST. They provide a range of options from language courses to surf camps for youngsters aged between seven and 18. They also cater for university students.
The brands made up the former education division of Holidaybreak, the travel group acquired by Cox & Kings in 2011 for £321 million.
Cox & Kings CEO Peter Kerkar described the sale as being part of “efforts to maximise shareholder value by divesting some parts of the business, reduce debt and focus on high growth asset light businesses.”
He said: “We are delighted that the education business has found a home with Midlothian as we are certain that they will continue to invest and develop the education business.”
Midlothian said that the businesses being acquired formed an “industry leading operator within both the outdoor activity and educational travel sectors”, with scope for growth in the UK and overseas.
Midlothian’s Neil Currie, chairman-designate of HB Education, said: “HB Education is an industry-leading operator within both the residential outdoor activity and educational travel sectors. PGL is a much-loved brand among teachers and students and has created lasting, happy memories – including many among our own families.
“We are delighted that the existing management team, led by CEO John Firth and CFO Peter Churchus, have agreed to remain with the company and partner with us.
“They have led HB Education impressively through its most successful growth period and their focus on customer satisfaction and team culture is a key reason for our interest in the group.”
PGL, founded in 1957 by Peter Gordon Lawrence, was put up for sale in June.
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