Cruise.co.uk docks with new private equity owner in £52 million deal
Bridgepoint has cost some £52 million for the switch of majority stake in the UK-based cruise online travel agency Cruise.co.uk from private equity company Risk Capital.
Cruise.co.uk has a new backer in the form of Bridgepoint Development Capital, after three years with fellow private equity company Risk Capital.
The switch of the majority stake in the UK-based cruise online travel agency has cost Bridgepoint some £52 million.
The amount of equity changing hands was not disclosed, although Bridgepoint confirms the company’s management will retain a stake.
Alongside search and booking capability for users with leading cruise operators, Cruise.co.uk has a sizeable reviewing platform with more than 110,000 members that account for 17 million web visits a year.
Rival cruise review platform, TripAdvisor-owned CruiseCritic, boasts more than five million visits a month.
The sale has given Risk Capital a decent windfall on its investment in August 2013 – that deal was understood to be in the region of £15 million at the time.
Since the 2013 deal, Cruise.co.uk has seen its turnover increase to £104.5 million, a climb of 15% on the previous year.
Managing director Seamus Conlon says the Risk Capital ownership supported its investment in online marketing and launches in Australia and Ireland.
He adds that Bridgepoint’s backing will help continue the OTA’s ambitions to expand further internationally.
Cruise.co.uk was originally part of the Carnival Corporation and was eventually spun off in 2007. It currently employs 170 people and is headquartered in the Midlands.
Bridgepoint’s other travel-related investments have include holiday park operator Siblu and Hallmark Hotels.
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