Acting as the lead adviser to the management team, Spectrum Corporate Finance has successfully completed the sale of Leisure Pass Group Holding to Exponent Private Equity and Big Bus Tours. The deal was recently named UK Mid-Cap Deal of the Year at the Real Deals Private Equity Awards, generating a 7x cost of investment for Primary Capital.
Leisure Pass Group is an award-winning sightseeing and tourism technology specialist, which operates in 19 major international cities, including London, Paris and Berlin, packaging large numbers of attractions into passes which provide tourists with a convenient and money-saving sightseeing option.
Spectrum has known the management team for many years having advised on the first management buyout, backed by Primary Capital in 2012, providing management advice, debt advisory and FD interim support. Since then the business has grown significantly and is set to sell over 780,000 passes this year.
This transaction involved a secondary MBO to Exponent Private Equity, an active investor in the leisure and online sectors. Exponent’s portfolio includes Photobox, Wowcher and Big Bus Tours, the leading provider of open-top sightseeing tours.
Legal advice was provided to the management team by Greg Leyshon and Mark Saunders at Osborne Clarke.
Darran Evans, chairman of Leisure Pass Group, commented: “Simon, Clive and the team at Spectrum are well versed in seeing the issues and challenges of a deal from different perspectives. Having worked with them on a previous transaction, we had no hesitation in asking them to support us again on this occasion and they delivered solid and timely advice which helped facilitate the whole process. We look forward to the opportunity of working with them again in the future.
“Leisure Pass is currently in a transformational growth phase as it accelerates the roll-out of its pass product beyond its core markets and leverages its mobile app to expand into new products and services. We believe that Exponent will be the ideal partner to take our business to this next level of growth.”
Tim Easingwood, partner at Exponent, commented: “Leisure Pass is both a leader and a pioneer in the provision of city attraction passes, and we are excited to back the business as it continues its impressive growth journey. We worked constructively with Spectrum to agree a deal that worked for all concerned.”
Simon Davies, managing director at Spectrum Corporate Finance, commented: “We had built a good relationship with Darran and the other managers over a number of years. This helped us in understanding their specific agendas, not just in deal terms but also in the support they were looking for an investor to bring to the party for the future development of the business. We were able to help them work through the different strategic rationales of different buyers, and then translate this into the optimal management deal.”