8 February 2018 – Travel Department is delighted to announce that MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland has agreed to make a significant investment into the business. The investment is expected to complete before the end of March 2018.
Travel Department is Ireland’s leading tour operator for guided group holidays. The business has over 22 years’ experience of providing memorable tours to over 100 destinations worldwide, with almost 200 carefully crafted itineraries including cultural breaks, long haul adventures, city breaks and sun holidays. Travel Department will record revenue of over €40 million for 2017 and this investment by MML will help existing management, led by Sara Zimmerman to continue to drive significant growth.
The MML investment will be the tenth investment made from the MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland, a €125 million fund supported by Enterprise Ireland, AIB and a number of international institutional investors. The fund is dedicated to backing small and medium sized private businesses located on the island of Ireland.
Sara Zimmerman, CEO commented: “We are delighted to have found an experienced Irish investment partner in MML. The MML team not only shares our vision for the future of the business, but recognises the importance of continuing to put the customer at the heart of everything we do. We are also delighted that Bob Haugh, the founder of Travel Department, will remain an investor in the business”.
Neil McGowan who led the deal for MML said: “MML is delighted to partner with Sara and her team in Travel Department. We are backing a market leading business led by an experienced team with a very strong understanding of the market and their customers, and with significant ambitions for the future”.
The investment, which is subject to regulatory approval, is also supported by bank financing provided by AIB Bank plc. Emmett Neeson, Director at AIB Specialised Finance, said: “AIB is delighted to partner with MML on another transaction and support Sara and the Travel Department team. We look forward to working with the management team to further support the business over the coming years”.
Livingstone Partners advised the shareholders of Travel Department. Byrne Wallace acted as legal advisers to MML while Dillon Eustace and Osborne Clarke acted for Travel Department. BDO and PwC provided financial and tax due diligence and Armstrong TS provided commercial due diligence.