Equistone buys stake in Audley Travel

Equistone buys stake in Audley Travel

Private equity investors Equistone Partners Europe has bought a stake in Audley Travel for an undisclosed sum.

The Oxfordshire-based company, founded as Asian Journeys in 1996, specialises in tailor-made tours and safaris. It employs 170 people and in 2010 generated revenues of £63 million.

Founders Craig Burkinshaw and John Brewer will remain on the board, joined by former Tui Travel specialist and emerging markets managing director Richard Prosser as chairman.

Equistone said its funding would be used to support continued investment in Audley's products, operations and team.

The firm has made a number of previous investments in the travel sector, including shopping tourism specialist Global Blue.It sold its stake in Karavel-Promovacances, a French online travel agency, for £200 million in May 2011.

Phil Griesbach, director at Equistone Partners Europe, said: "Audley Travel stands out as a highly differentiated business with its uniquely bespoke product and high level of customer service.

"The business has a great team and a strong business model, which helps to explain the consistent growth since its foundation."

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