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ATP International Group acquires Instone International Holding AG

15 May 2009

Barclays Private Equity Manchester has backed ATP International Group (“ATP”), the multi-national corporate travel specialist, in its £37 million (€39.4 million) purchase of 100 per cent of the share capital of Instone International Group (“Instone”), one of the world’s leading suppliers of business travel services to the marine and off-shore markets.  

The combined group is expected to generate worldwide gross sales of over £750 million in 2009 and has a branch network covering 20 countries plus a world-wide partner network.  The acquisition of Instone will position ATP as one of the world’s leading travel management companies.  

Director of Barclays Private Equity Manchester, John Walker, said:  

“We have worked very closely with Graham Ramsey and his team since the purchase of our majority stake last year.  ATP is an excellent business with a market-leading position and a growing customer portfolio.  The management team is focused on delivering growth in shareholder value and has developed a clear strategy for continued growth on a worldwide basis.  The acquisition of Instone will undoubtedly help ATP achieve these growth objectives.  A significant number of Barclays Private Equity’s portfolio companies have made bolt-on acquisitions and we are delighted to have helped ATP to complete this deal with Instone in the current difficult market-place."  

ATP International Group chief executive Graham Ramsey added:  

“Instone is the perfect fit for us and for our company culture; both organisations are top players in their respective fields and both will benefit substantially from wider service opportunities and a substantially increased global footprint.  The opportunities this creates for our clients, staff and suppliers will make this one of the most exciting deals for ATP and for the industry.  

“It is also highly significant that in these difficult financial times ATP’s investors have recognised the quality of our team and our proposition and thus have supported our continued growth.”  

Instone has a strong history in the travel business, tracing its roots back to 1909.  Egil Skibenes, Instone’s Chairman, said:  

“This is a wonderful moment in Instone’s history – and for all of us.  Instone has been courted for quite some time and to have found a suitor, that was our suitor of choice, is more than we could have hoped for.  ATP is renowned for its quality offering and, as such, has become a leading corporate travel specialist. We are confident that they are the perfect custodians for a marine travel brand and a culture that stretches back nearly a century. We look forward to developing our joint offering and building a successful future together.”  

The North West team of Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets acquisition finance provided working capital facilities to support the enlarged business in its next phase of expansion.  

It previously acted as mandated lead arranger in the provision of senior term loan, working capital and ancillary facilities in July last year to support Barclays Private Equity’s secondary buy-out.  

Mark Blower, director of Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets acquisition finance, commented:  

“Over the past three years we have developed a close working relationship with ATP and we are delighted to provide further facilities to help further cement its market leading position.  

“The business has a strong management team and a supportive private equity partner which will stand it in good stead as it moves into this next phase of its growth strategy.”

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