Liberty advises management on Neilson Active Holidays on the investment by LDC
Mid-market private equity investor LDC has backed the secondary buyout of Neilson Active Holidays (“Neilson”), the UK's leading provider of overseas active holidays, to support the management team’s expansion strategy. Neilson offers a fantastic range of award-winning, activity-focused holidays across seven countries in Europe where it operates beachclubs, ski hotels and chalets as well as 65 yachts, exclusively for its guests who number almost 80,000 every year. In recent years Neilson has successfully capitalised on the increasing demand for activity and wellness holidays at the premium end of the market. This investment will enable the business to open new hotels and extend the range of countries in which the business operates, as well as providing further backing for strategic acquisitions. The business is led by CEO David Taylor, formerly of TUI and Thomas Cook, and chairman Richard Bowden-Doyle, the former managing director of Thomson Holidays and Lastminute.com, and more recently non-executive director of Saga Travel Group. David and Richard joined Neilson in 2013 in a buy-out from Thomas Cook. Under their management Neilson has become the UK’s leading overseas activity holiday specialist. With revenues of £80m, Neilson is a highly profitable business that is primed for further growth. As part of the deal, LDC’s Richard Whitwell and David Bains will join the board.
David Taylor, CEO of Neilson, said: “LDC has a successful track record in the travel industry, but most importantly the investment team bought into our vision and growth strategy completely. This is critically important as we embark on the next phase of our journey. “We have built a strong business and achieved significant success in both summer and winter markets in recent years, given our hallmark of quality and the wide range of inclusive activities we provide for our customers.