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Equistone sells global business travel and events management company ATPI to its management, backed by ICG

03 Dec 2012

Equistone Partners Europe Limited, (“Equistone”) one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity investors, today announces the sale of ATPI (“the Company”) to its management, backed by Intermediate Capital Group (“ICG”), for an undisclosed amount.

ATPI is a leader in global travel management services, with operations in business travel, corporate event management and online travel technology. The Company employs over 1400 individuals across 52 offices in five continents.

ATPI’s primary offering is providing travel for corporate customers across most industry sectors in less accessible locations, notably for the marine, oil and gas and construction sectors.  ATPI also manages incentives, conferences and events.

Equistone invested in ATPI in a deal worth £73m from Fund III in 2008, since which time the business has continued to grow strongly.

Equistone worked alongside the management team to develop the business with initiatives such as:

  • Backing the acquisition in 2009 of Instone, a specialist business travel company in the marine sector from 3i for £37m. Instone specialises in arranging travel for crew and staff for shipping and offshore companies
  • Strengthening ATPI’s geographic footprint, through the Instone acquisition, new partnerships, and organic growth. In recent years, the company has formed new partnerships in Vietnam, Indonesia, Spain and Portugal, and opened two new offices in Australia
  • Developing ATPI’s principal business in the “travel to work” sectors (oil and gas, marine, industrial and government), which have proven to be more resilient than some other sectors during the recession
  • Rebranding ATPI’s offerings into dedicated operating brands: ATP Corporate Travel, ATP Instone, ATP Event Experts and ATP Select
  • Appointing new country managers to boost the leadership team on the ground and achieving high client retention rates across the global office and partnership network

CEO Graham Ramsey will continue to lead the business following the transaction.

The sale of ATPI follows a number of other transactions by Equistone in the travel sector, including most recently the €1bn sale of international travel-related payment services firm Global Blue, the acquisition of bespoke travel company Audley Travel and the €200m sale of travel agency Karavel-Promovacances.

Steve O'Hare, Director at Equistone Partners Europe, commented: “It has been a privilege to work with ATPI over the last four years, helping them to develop the business into one of the fastest growing brands in corporate travel, despite the difficult trading conditions in the travel sector during this time. This exit has generated a good return for our investors in Fund III and leaves the Company in great shape for future growth with ICG’s backing. We wish Graham and the team the very best.”

Graham Ramsey, CEO of ATPI, added: “We are grateful for Equistone’s support, particularly in its backing of our acquisition of Instone, and the extension of the business into new geographies and product areas. I believe that there are significant opportunities ahead in the travel sector and look forward to working with ICG to explore these.”

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