The transaction values the business at over £50m and represents a successful exit for Primary Capital who invested in Amber in 2005.
York-based Amber Travel is the UK’s leading specialist, rail tour business, offering escorted group holidays to destinations around the world. The business is growing strongly with turnover growth of over 20% anticipated in 2013.
Established in 1980, the company now offers 300 different itineraries across 40 countries, ranging from Europe to Africa, North America, Asia, Russia and Australia.
Amber caters for a growing demographic group of relatively affluent, mostly retired travellers who prioritise travel spend within their household budgets.
Last year, 50,000 customers went on an Amber rail holiday. The company’s strong focus on customer service is borne out by high levels of repeat business.The company operates through three brands:
- Great Rail Journeys: the largest part of the business, Great Rail Journeys offers predominantly first class rail travel with accommodation in 4-5 star hotels.
- Treyn : a new brand launched by the business in January 2008 and focused on offering standard class rail travel in the UK and Continental Europe with accommodation in 3-4 star hotels
- RailSelect.com: this business, launched in 2006 and catering for the independent traveller, draws on Amber's rail and holiday capabilities to offer tailor-made travel
Amber Travel Executive Chairman Nick Cust OBE said:
"We’re delighted to welcome ECI Partners aboard Amber. As a management team we are very excited about partnering with ECI, an organisation with a long and positive track record of past and current ownership of travel businesses. My thanks to the entire Liberty team - I will certainly want to use the team again".
Liberty were appointed to provide management advice on the transaction.