£6.9m MBO provides growth capital for market-leading ticketing solutions provider
Maven Capital Partners has led the £6.9m MBO of Attraction World Limited, a Birmingham-based provider of tickets for Global tourist attractions, in the face of significant competition for the mandate from other private equity houses. The new funding package will be used to further develop the business, including support for the roll-out of the Company’s products and services into Germany.
The transaction allowed Maven clients the opportunity to invest in a market leading provider of ticketing services to the worldwide travel sector. The business boasts a strong management team, with many years’ experience of managing fast moving blue-chip operations in the travel sector. Whilst the travel industry has experienced a period of decline during 2008 and 2009, Attraction World has over the same period seen revenues increase significantly, due to the added value in the services and benefits it provides to customers.
Attraction World was founded in 1996, and was an early innovator in developing web-based B2B sales channels for the travel industry. Since 2004 the company has placed a greater emphasis on developing its online offering and systemised transaction process, which has contributed to an increase in its web-based revenues from just 5% of overall sales to 85% in 2010, with almost 75% of revenues coming from major travel agent chains.
Offering customers a single point of access, via a system that connects directly into the ticketing systems of the major theme parks, Attraction World provides travel agents with integrated access to global attractions, improving their customer offering and creating cross-selling opportunities. These market dynamics, and a distinct technological advantage over competitors, mean that significant growth is forecast for Attraction World over the coming years, with clear scope for development into overseas markets alongside a strong core UK offering.
The business has exclusive trading partnerships with key UK travel organisations such as Thomson, Thomas Cook, Co-op Travel and First Choice. In addition Attraction World has developed strong relationships with major global theme parks, such as PortAventura in Spain and Disney, Universal Studios, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens in the USA, which has helped the business to deliver consistent growth.
Paul Stobbs, Managing Director of Attraction World said: "We are delighted to have completed the management buyout of Attraction World. Our business has grown rapidly over the last four years and we are now well placed, as the UK’s leading theme park and attraction ticket provider, to see considerable further growth in the years ahead. The investment from Maven will allow us to accelerate our growth strategy and management are delighted to be backed by an equity provider which quickly saw the opportunity to establish Attraction World in new markets. We look forward to building upon our market leading position and are excited about the opportunities that new technologies are providing."
The Maven investment was led by its Midlands and South East investment team of Andrew Ferguson and Ned Dorbin. Birmingham-based Partner Andrew Ferguson added: "Maven continues to look for solid businesses in which to invest and Attraction World represents an attractive opportunity to support a company that has demonstrated year-on-year growth with excellent cash generation. The highly capable and motivated management team has established a business that not only has a technological advantage over its competitors, but also a strong client base including some of the biggest names in the UK travel industry. This is an exciting time for Attraction World, particularly with its expansion into the German market following a recent customer win, and Maven looks forward to supporting the continued growth and success of the business during this period."