In July 2018, ECI Partners, a London-based mid-market private equity firm, announced the sale of its portfolio company, Great Rail Journeys ("GRJ"), the leading provider of escorted rail holidays, to Duke Street, a private equity firm.
Duff & Phelps served as exclusive financial advisor to the shareholders of GRJ with respect to the sale, and also provided debt advisory services in connection with the transaction.
Peter Liney, CEO of GRJ, commented: "As a CEO, you need to know that your sell side advisors are highly competent, have seen it before and know where the red lines are, and at the crunch time they have your back. Duff & Phelps did a great job, were a pleasure to work with and handled our exit process with real skill. I would definitely not hesitate in using them again."
Chris Watt, Managing Partner at ECI Partners, said: "We are delighted with the advice that Duff & Phelps provided to us on the sale of GRJ. Throughout the process, Duff & Phelps provided us with sound advice and judgement, and their understanding of, and their relationship with, the business and the sector, were critical to achieving a successful outcome."
Henry Wells, Managing Director at Duff & Phelps, said: "GRJ is a high-quality business with an excellent growth story in a really exciting sector. It has been a pleasure to work with ECI, Peter Liney and his management team, in achieving this result. We are sure that GRJ will develop strongly under its new ownership and we wish the management team every success."
GRJ is the world’s leading provider of escorted rail holidays. Based in York, United Kingdom, GRJ offers almost 400 itineraries to over 50 countries globally. GRJ caters for a growing demographic group of culturally interested 55+ year old travelers who typically prioritize travel spend within their household budgets.
About ECI Partners
ECI Partners is the partner of choice for dynamic, mid-sized growth businesses in the United Kingdom. The firm has raised 10 funds over its 42-year history, realized 105 exits since 1990 and generated an average IRR of 36% since 1990. With offices in London and Manchester, ECI Partners invest in management buyouts, buy-ins and acquisition finance deals of growth companies valued between £20 million and £150 million. ECI Partners currently manages over £1 billion on behalf of institutional investors.
About Duke Street
Duke Street is a leading operationally focused European mid-market buyout group. Founded in 1988, it invests across four sectors: consumer, healthcare, services and industrials. Duke Street has a proven model of value creation by successfully transforming businesses through implementing operational change and buy-and-build, having made approximately 60 bolt-on acquisitions for its portfolio companies.
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