Buy-outs and drop-outs

10th May 2010, by Chris Gill

Esprit Ski

Esprit Ski

There have been more shake-ups within the ski industry this week: the disappointing demise of Finlays Skiing Holidays after 28 years in business, and the surprise announcement that Inghams may be about to merge with Ski Total and Esprit Ski.

Finlays was a small chalet operator based in Scotland, started in 1982 and with properties in three major French resorts – La Plagne, Courchevel and Val d’Isère. The company was fully bonded, so financial protection for its clients was ensured.

According to a posting on their website: ‘Two factors have largely been the cause – the economic situation over the past two years plus the exchange rate Sterling to Euro.”

News that Inghams’ owner Hotelplan was in takeover talks with the joint-owned Total and Esprit, was reported at the weekend – and came as a complete surprise to the industry; although Inghams has previously bought out a major chalet operator: Bladon Lines.

No deals have been confirmed just yet, but the buy-out could amount to £25 million. If it goes ahead, Inghams / Hotelplan would become the second largest British tour operator.

Total Ski and Esprit Ski are also major operators; the latter is one of the best-known family ski operators, with a huge chalet market.

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