Neilson ski sold by Thomas Cook

25th November 2013, by Abi Butcher

Neilson says ski holiday bookings will be unaffected by the sale

Neilson says ski holiday bookings will be unaffected by the sale

Neilson, which provides ski as well as sailing and beach holidays, has been sold by Thomas Cook. The company has been sold to private equity firm Risk Capital Partners for £9.15million, as part of Thomas Cook’s drive to reduce its £1.6million debt.

Neilson was set up in 1978, and sells ski holidays directly to customers via its website and from a call centre in Brighton. The specialist ski arm covers all the major ski resorts in Europe and North America, with a chalet programme and growing number of Club hotels. It takes 90,000 customers on summer and winter holidays each year and generated revenues of £70 million in 2012.

A spokesman for Neilson said it is “business as usual” and any ski holiday bookings will be unaffected by the transfer of ownership.

Luke Johnson, chairman of Risk Capital Partners, admitted the travel industry had experienced a “tough few years” but said his company was attracted by the strength of the Neilson brand, which is shown by the loyalty of its repeat customers.

“The active holiday sector is growing and ski volumes are set to recover,” he said. “We believe the business will prosper with access to capital as an independent tour operator.”

The existing management team of Pete and Pip Tyler will be staying with Neilson, and joined by executive chairman Richard Bowden-Doyle and finance director David Taylor, both experienced travel industry executives.

Neilson also owns 119 cruising yachts in the Mediterranean, as well as nine summer beach clubs. The company is the second travel investment for Risk Capital Partners in 2013, the first was cruise.co.

 



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