ISIS Equity Partners sells Encore Tickets to ECI Partners

ISIS Equity Partners has sold Encore Tickets to ECI Partners in a secondary buyout transaction. Financial details of the deal are not being disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

ISIS Equity Partners (“ISIS”) is pleased to announce the sale of Encore Tickets (“Encore”) to ECI Partners (“ECI”), in a secondary management buyout. The details of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Encore is the UK’s leading independent ticket supplier of theatre, restaurant and attraction tickets.

ISIS invested in Encore in 2010 as part of a founder led management buyout with a deal value in excess of £20m. This exit has delivered a return of 2.8x for ISIS’ institutional clients, ISIS IV.

Since that time, the business has evolved significantly and delivered strong growth, both organically and through acquisition. Over the last four years, the Encore team has established a leading position in both B2B and B2C ticket distribution. This has included the successful launch and growth of www.theatrepeople.com, Encore’s main consumer website.

In 2011, the organic growth was augmented by the acquisition of West End Theatre Bookings, which significantly increased Encore’s distribution scale.

Encore’s unparalleled breadth of distribution channels enable the company to market to both the UK theatregoers and the highly valued overseas visitors. Encore sells 1 in 5 West End theatre tickets, and now employs almost 200 staff in its London headquarters to support its rapidly expanding operations.

Encore plans to continue its strong growth, with further investment in technologies, increasing the product portfolio and pro-active sales & distribution that will further cement its market leading position. West End theatre continues to be buoyant and with more anticipated blockbusters such as Miss Saigon opening soon, 2014 promises to be another record year.

John Wales, CEO, Encore Tickets, comments:

“We have enjoyed our partnership with ISIS over the last three years. We have significantly invested in IT and employed expert resource, which has resulted in a 150% increase in sales, now selling one in five of all West End Theatre tickets.

“ECI have impressive credentials for investing in growth-focused companies. We are delighted to have their support and we look forward to working with their team as Encore embarks on the next stage of its expansion.”

Mark Turner, Partner, ISIS Equity Partners, comments:

“It has been a highly rewarding investment on many levels for ISIS and we are really delighted for John and his team. They have grown a superb business and consistently outperformed, and we hope they achieve great things in the years ahead.”

George Moss, Investment Director, ECI Partners, comments:

“ECI has a strong track record in partnering with high growth e-commerce companies, having previously invested in car rental aggregator CarTrawler and hotels reservation website LateRooms.com. Encore is a pioneer in the online tickets market and already has a leading share of the market. We are excited about the potential for continued growth at Encore, and look forward to working with John and his team.”

- Ends -

Notes to Editor:

Encore
Encore was established in 2000 to fulfil the need for a specialist ticketing company focused on delivering a full service to third parties in the travel industry, group organisers and online distributors.

Encore has over 200 staff in total with offices in Holborn and 10 shops in Central London and sells over 2.5 million theatre tickets annually, as well as hundreds of thousands of restaurant covers, attraction tickets, exhibitions and hotel breaks.

Encore partners with a variety of trade clients, including airlines and tour operators from around the world as well as coach operators and hotel groups. The product portfolio features tickets for the whole of London’s West End theatres.

ISIS Equity Partners
• ISIS currently operates from offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
• ISIS applies a research-led, sector-focused approach to investment in unquoted companies in the UK and across Europe.
• Core areas of interest are: Business Services; Financial Services; Consumer Markets; Healthcare & Education; Technology, Media & Telecommunications; Energy & Environmental.
• ISIS typically invests in transactions where the transaction size is between £5m and £100m in value, in companies with profits in excess of £1m (typical ISIS investment between £2m and £40m).
• ISIS invests on behalf of both institutional and retail investors (ISIS V, ISIS Growth I and the five Baronsmead VCTs).
• ISIS has funds under management of £1.2bn as at 30 September 2013.

ECI Partners
• Founded in 1976, ECI is one of the longest established and most successful private equity groups in the UK. With offices in London and Manchester, ECI specialises in management buyouts, buyins and development capital deals with companies valued between £10 million to £150 million.
• Specialising in TMT, business services, industrial, healthcare and consumer companies, ECI has sold over 90 investments with a total value of over £2.8 billion since 1990.
• ECI’s current investments in the TMT and leisure sectors include car rental aggregator CarTrawler, escorted rail travel company Great Rail Journeys, telecoms provider XLN and retail ‘SaaS’ technology provider Fourth.
• Encore will be ECI’s twelfth investment in its latest buyout fund, ECI 9, and the fourth in the past 12 months following earlier investments in Citation, Great Rail Journeys and Harvard Engineering.
• ECI remains a natural partner for companies with growth potential and ambition.

For further information, please contact:
ECI Partners: George Moss, Investment Director/ David Ewing, Managing Partner
T: +44 (0) 20 7606 1000

Cubitt Consulting: Simon Brocklebank-Fowler / James Isola
T: +44 (0) 20 7367 5100
SimonBF@Cubitt.com james.isola@cubitt.com

ISIS Equity Partners: Leanne Metcalfe
T: 020 7506 5794
E: leanne.metcalfe@isisep.com

ISIS EP LLP is Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). All sources ISIS EP LLP unless otherwise stated.

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