Luxury India tour firm sells two UK companies

Luxury India tour firm sells two UK companies

ONE of the most venerable tour operators in the UK – India market has sold its interests in two British companies in a multi-million pound deal.

The 258-year-old upmarket tour operator, Cox & Kings, has sold its interests in LateRooms and Superbreak to Malvern Enterprises for nearly £30m (Rs 295 crore).

The company sold LateRooms, a hotel booking site, for £20m, and Superbreak, a firm specializing in last-minute holidays, for £9.25m.

Holidaybreak, which Cox & Kings bought in 2011, had written off £71m (Rs 702 crore) on the sale of Superbreak. Cox & Kings directly owns 65.58% in Holidaybreak.

While Cox & Kings did not make any money from the Superbreak transaction, the Peter Kerkar-managed travel services company made money from the sale of LateRooms, which was bought for £8.5m (Rs 85 crore) in 2015. The proceeds from the sale transaction will be used to trim debt, Cox & Kings said

Simultaneously, Cox & Kings acquired a 49 per cent stake in the UK-based Malvern for £6.37m (about Rs 62 crore). The remaining 51 per cent is owned by an European private equity investor.

The deal will enable Malvern to independently follow its own strategic growth path in the city-breaks market. The two brands are likely to gain substantially from a unified management team under the guidance of the private equity investor and Cox & Kings, the company said in a statement.
Cox & Kings was established in 1758 by the British Army agent Richard Cox and is India’s oldest tour operator, renowned for its luxurious international and cultural tours.
The firm has presence in 22 countries across four continents. In India, where the company is headquartered, it employs 5,000 people and with offices in 12 cities.

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