Equistone Partners Europe said March 5 it has entered exclusive negotiations to buy a majority stake in Karavel-Promovacances Group and FRAM Group. LBO France is the seller. Karavel-Promovacances Co-Founders Alain de Mendonça and Folco Aloisi, along with Cyrille Fradin (the group’s financial and risk director), and some additional FRAM and Karavel-Promovacances directors and employees, are also investing. Financial terms weren’t announced. Karavel-Promovacances is a leading online tourism group in France.
Paris, 5 March 2018 – Equistone Partners Europe (“Equistone”), one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity investors, today announces that it has entered exclusive negotiations with the management company LBO France to acquire a majority stake in Karavel-Promovacances Group and FRAM Group. This investment will be made alongside Alain de Mendonça and Folco Aloisi (founders of the Karavel-Promovacances Group), Cyrille Fradin (the Group’s Financial and Risk Director), as well as some additional FRAM and Karavel-Promovacances directors and employees. The deal will have no impact on the existing operational management of Karavel-Promovacances and FRAM.
Founded in 2000, Karavel-Promovacances is France’s leading online tourism group with more than 7 million unique visitors across all of its platforms. The Group owns specialised brands in distinct ranges and segments, including its flagship brand Promovacances as well as ABCroisiere and Partir Pas Cher, among others. In 2015, LBO France acquired FRAM, the French tour operator, enabling LBO France to develop complementary synergies between the two groups. Founded in 1949, FRAM is a long-established player in the French tourism industry, operating under two brands: FRAM and Plein Vent.
This acquisition by Equistone will preserve the independence of one of the last-remaining significant incumbents in French tourism industry, following a period of consolidation of the market led by major international players. Equistone will support managements’ existing growth strategy and provide both FRAM and Karavel-Promovacances with the resources to drive their continued development, drawing on its experience in the sector and the trust established with Alain de Mendonça and his team from 2007 to 2011.
Alain de Mendonça, President of Karavel-Promovacances and FRAM,commented: “This operation will preserve the strong identity of the FRAM and Promovacances brands, which will remain independent and maintain their French identity in a sector that is consolidating at a growing pace, with a large majority of the sector’s tour operators now under the control of foreign industrial groups. We would also like to thank LBO France for their past support. With the arrival of Equistone as a new shareholder, we will continue to benefit from the support of a shareholder that is committed to our strategic plan.”
Michel Quenot, Managing Director of FRAM, added: “FRAM is a name that has been around for nearly 70 years. This partnership with Equistone will help enable us to maintain and develop this flagship of our national tourism industry, which is dear to the heart of many French people.”
Completion of the deal remains subject to certain conditions.