Big Bus Tours parent closes in on Leisure Pass deal

Big Bus Tours parent closes in on Leisure Pass deal

The owner of the sightseeing company Big Bus Tours is today reported to be close to a £150 million takeover of tourist business Leisure Pass Group.

Darran Evans, chief executive of Leisure Pass, is understood to be in line for a £30 million payday as Exponent is in the final stages of buying the business from a rival private equity firm, Primary Capital, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Evans joined the visitor pass business in 2002 and arranged a £35 million management buyout four years ago, backed by Primary.

Exponent bought Big Bus Tours for around £400 million last year and sold a 15% slice in February to Merlin Entertainments.

Merlin paid £27.4 million for its stake in the world’s largest operator of open-topped bus sightseeing tours.

Leisure Pass Group is the world’s biggest provider of tourist passes, which allow holders free or reduced entry to a number of attractions in London, Paris, Dublin and Berlin. It also offers passes in Las Vegas, Singapore and New Orleans.

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