Harrison Holidays bought by Australian firm OzBus

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Kings Lynn-based Harrison Holidays has been bought out by Australian-owned OzBus, based in Cambridgeshire.

The Norfolk coach holiday operator called in the administrators in November. Around 20 people lost their jobs and holiday-makers were unsure if their trips would be going ahead.

Norwich insolvency specialists Parker Andrews announced on January 16 that the company had now been sold to OzBus Tours.

The sale price is based on a percentage of the turnover of the new business during 2012, expected to be between £100,000 and £200,000 with creditors owed more than £200,000.

“It is possible that if the Harrison Holidays brand does extremely well, creditors may be paid in full,” said Jamie Playford, director and insolvency specialist at Parker Andrews.

OzBus Tours Ltd is owned by Daryl Jones, who is based near Brisbane, and who has operated coach holidays in Australia for more than 40 years.

The UK operations, based in Diddington, Cambridgeshire, are run by operations manager Stephen Nattrass. OzBus also plans to reopen Harrison’s former shop on King’s Lynn’s High Street.

“We’re pretty hopeful we can take this forward successfully,” explained Stephen Nattrass.

“It’s a good brand, it’s got a good history, it’s got some very loyal clients, and we like that.”

OzBus will honour customer payments received prior to the company entering administration for tours. If any holidays are not run due to a lack of bookings, OzBus will offer customers a place on an alternative holiday of their choice.

The firm also intends to contact former Harrison employees to discuss positions which may be available with the new business.

Parker Andrews will be working closely with OzBus over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth handover and provide information to customers booked on holidays.

OzBus Tours Ltd was formed in September 2011 to purchase another failed holiday operator, Oz-Bus UK, which was placed into liquidation in August 2011.

OzBus said it was looking to quickly arrange extra tours under the Harrisons brand for 2012.

For information on OzBus, visit www.oz-bus.com/