30/10/2017

Howes Percival acts in £30m Virgin deal

Howes Percival has advised the management team of Acorne Limited, trading as Virgin Experience Days, as part of a £30m management buy-out of Acorne backed and funded by Inflexion Private Equity.

Howes Percival advised the four-strong management team on the terms of their investment alongside business and accountancy firm, PKF Cooper Parry.

Virgin Experience Days offers curated experiences to consumers and corporates, from flying Spitfires to short luxury breaks, selling over 750,000 experiences annually. Virgin Experience Days operates B2C and B2B divisions and turned over £50m in its 2017 financial year.

The multimillion pound deal will enable Virgin Experience Days to grow sales in new markets and capitalise on the growing demand for personalised experiences.

Corporate Partner, Gerald Couldrake, led the Howes Percival team, which included Matt Thompson (also from the corporate team), while Hannah Pryce and Graham Irons advised on employment law matters.

Commenting on the deal, Gerald Couldrake said, “We’re delighted to have acted for and supported the Acorne management team on such a high-profile deal. This is the second management team we have acted for over the summer where private equity has backed a management team to take over a successful business in the region. We have the expertise and experience to guide management teams through the unfamiliar maze of private equity investment documents, to ensure that what they sign is a fair reflection of the time and money they will invest in their business.

“Successful businesses are carrying on regardless of the uncertainty created by the backdrop of Brexit negotiations. Private Equity firms remain keen to lend to companies like Acorne - with a proven track record and the desire to grow - particularly as Private Equity firms are under increasing pressure to get returns for their funds. Together, these factors mean we are seeing an increasing number of private equity transactions, and Howes Percival has developed a specialism for guiding management teams through this process.”

Should you require assistance buying, selling or investing in a business, please do not hesitate to contact Gerald Couldrake at gerald.couldrake@howespercival.com.