Cox & Kings selling camping unit under Holidaybreak to French firm Homair for $149M

Mumbai-based Cox and Kings Ltd has struck a deal to sell the camping division of UK-based education and activity travel arm Holidaybreak Ltd to French firm Homair Vacances for £89.20 million (Rs 882.8 crore or $149 million), as per a stock market disclosure.

The completion of the deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected in three months.

Homair Vacances will pay £85.5 million ($143.19 million) in cash on completion and £3.7 million ($6.19 million) is deferred relating to a tax refund.

The camping division provides outdoor family holidays on over 170 third-party owned campsites across 12 European countries.

Cox & Kings had acquired this unit in 2011 as part of acquisition of Holidaybreak through its UK unit Prometheon Holdings (UK) Ltd.

Two years ago Citigroup’s private equity arm, Citigroup Venture Capital International or CVCI, invested $137.75 million (Rs 764.66 crore) in travel operator Cox & Kings Ltd’s subsidiary Prometheon Holdings (UK) Ltd. Part of the proceeds from the fund raised was to be used to repay debt that Prometheon took to acquire Holidaybreak.

"The sale of camping is consistent with our strategy of becoming a Leisure & Education travel group and allows us to focus on these businesses that have a global footprint with market leadership positions," said Peter Kerkar, director of Cox & Kings.

The amount received from the sale of camping division, will also be used to reduce the debt of the company.

Shares of Cox & Kings were trading at Rs 179.80 each, down 1.26 per cent on BSE in a weak Mumbai on Tuesday at 12.42 PM.

For the financial year ended March 31, 2014, the company’s turnover rose to Rs 2,307 crore against Rs 1,808 crore a year ago. Its net profit rose to Rs 383 crore against Rs 248 crore in FY13.

Homair Vacances is a major operator of outdoor holidays in France. The firm has operations across the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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