Private investment firm Midlothian Capital Partners has acquired HB Education, the holding company for activity holiday provider PGL, for £467 million.
The business was acquired from travel firm Cox & Kings.
HB Education was founded in the late 1950’s to provide canoe trips on the River Wye. It is now an outdoor education and study travel group which provides residential adventure and study trips for schools, youth organisations and young people through the PGL brand.
It also provides educational travel tours for schools and higher education students through NST, EST and Studylink.
The business currently owns 26 Regional Activity Centres in the UK, France, Spain and Australia.
HB Education’s existing management team led by CEO John Firth and CFO Peter Churchus will continue to run the business and plans to expand the business both in the UK and internationally.
Neil Currie of Midlothian, who is Chair-designate of HB Education, said: “HB Education is an industry-leading operator within both the residential outdoor activity and educational travel sectors. PGL is a much-loved brand among teachers and students and has created lasting, happy memories – including many among our own families.”
Andrew Bracey of MCP, added: “This transaction follows our recent acquisitions of Dobbies Garden Centres and Park Leisure and further demonstrates the strength of our network and operating model, as well as our ability to build close relationships with principals. PGL/HB Education adds another highly relevant and customer-focused business to our portfolio – crucial attributes within a rapidly changing consumer sector.”
John Firth, CEO of HB Education, said: “We are delighted that MCP has been chosen as the next owner of our company. We feel that MCP’s values align strongly with those of our staff and customers and we look forward to partnering with them as we open a new chapter in our long history of excellence and growth.”