ATPI Switches Financial Backers, Eyes 'Strategic' Acquisitions - Business Travel News

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ATPI Switches Financial Backers, Eyes 'Strategic' Acquisitions

December 03, 2012 - 10:30 AM ET

By Amon Cohen

Members of the management team at Anglo-Dutch multinational travel management company ATPI bought out the 60 percent stake held by private-equity backer Equistone, the companies announced Monday. The deal was funded by selling a 50 percent share of the business to a new investor, Intermediate Capital Group, with senior debt provided by six banks. As a result, 10 members of ATPI's management increased to 50 percent from 40 percent their collective holdings in the business.

Equistone in 2008 paid £73 million for its stake. Neither its earnings from selling back that investment nor the price paid by ICG for its newly acquired share were disclosed.

ATPI CEO Graham Ramsey, the largest management shareholder, told BTN that his company changed backers to fund further acquisitions. "To all intents and purposes we have done another management buyout," he said. "Equity companies look to get a return on investment, and those funds have a finite life, with a horizon usually of three to five years. Equistone has had a good ROI, because we have managed to grow every year throughout the recession, but now it is time to bring in investors for a slightly longer time scale. We won't be looking at acquisitions for growth's sake. They will all be strategic opportunities."

ATPI said it employs 1,400 personnel across 52 offices on five continents.

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