Travelopia has put its sporting events businesses up for sale alongside its education portfolio, for which it has been seeking a buyer for the past year.
Chief executive Andy Duncan confirmed his intention to sell the sports business, which includes AST Sports, Gullivers Sports Travel, Masterclass Sports Tours and Teamlink Sports Tours.
He said: “We are actively selling the business. We’re selling all our sports businesses in the UK and Australia. They are great businesses, [but] it’s about making the portfolio consistent. The businesses will be better under alternative ownership.”
Travelopia put its education division up for sale more than a year ago. Duncan gave no details but said: “We’re in the middle of selling the education business.”
The group is also looking to acquire businesses. Duncan confirmed: “We’re in the market to acquire. We just bought Enchanting Travel – a luxury, tech-enabled, tailor-made travel company with headquarters in Germany but very big in the US – and I would expect more acquisitions along the way.”
Travelopia acquired Enchanting Travels for an undisclosed sum in February.
The former Tui Specialist Group, Travelopia was bought by private equity investor KKR in 2017 for £325 million.
Duncan said: “These businesses had been non-core, non-strategic for a long time under Tui. They were just ticking over.”
Now, he said: “We have massive investment to put into the business. We’ve invested £160 million in a new polar ship. We’ve ordered two new jets for the private jet business. We’ve made a massive investment in the yacht business after 350 yachts in the British Virgin Islands were wiped out by Hurricane Irma. We’re investing across the group.”
He added: “We’re making big changes in the portfolio. KKR were very happy to buy the business and are happy invest in it. They and we take a long-term view to unlock the potential [of Travelopia].”
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