Shearings in management buyout

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CEO Denis Wormwell led the management buyout
CEO Denis Wormwell led the management buyout

Lloyds Commercial Banking backed the move, with the Group renewing its existing banking facilities as part of the dealThe management team of Shearings Group has completed a buyout of the business with the backing of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. The terms of the deal are undisclosed.

The transaction, led by Chief Executive Denis Wormwell, provides an exit for private equity firm 3i, which originally backed the merger of the business with Wallace Arnold in 2005, and Indigo Capital LLP.

As part of the deal, the Group has also renewed its existing banking facilities with Lloyds Bank for a further two years.

Wigan-based Shearings recently announced it had grown passenger numbers by 2.6% to a record 1.05m in 2013, reflecting strong demand from its core over 50s customer base, generating sales of £195.0m and profits (EBITDA) of £5.8m.

It also said that passenger numbers and sales for 2014 were ahead of the previous year, with total bookings up 4% and forward sales for the summer up 2%.

Denis said: “This is an important milestone for the Group, as we continue our growth strategy through building brands targeting third age customers.

“Lloyds Bank has been a committed partner of the business for many years. This new transaction demonstrates its continued confidence in the management team, the market and the model.

“The Group is hugely appreciative of 3i’s support over the years – a partnership which has enabled us to build a strong and scalable business for future growth.”

Dave Allanson, Area Director of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking in the North West, said: “Denis and the team have demonstrated to us the resilience of the business, maintaining strong sales and growing profits despite one of the toughest climates the holiday market has seen for many years.

“Despite continued pressure on consumer spending, we’re confident that the business will continue to progress further thanks to its loyal customer base, diversified product offering and clear strategy.”