Two-Year-Old Vespa Capital Sees First Exit

Two-year-old private equity firm Vespa Capital has found its first exit, selling portfolio company James Villa Holidays to Wyndham Exchange and Rentals. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Vespa backed a 2008 management buyout of U.K.-based James Villa Holidays, which provides specialty villa tours. Vespa Capital is based in the U.K. and France.

Vespa Capital, a private equity company founded in 2008, is pleased to announce its first successful exit as it sells James Villa Holidays to Wyndham Exchange & Rentals.

Established in 1984, James Villa Holidays is the leading villa tour operator in the UK. It offers handpicked, quality accommodation in over 50 great destinations across the Mediterranean and beyond. James Villa Holidays sells direct to its customers via its website, telephone and Bluewater store and offers tailor made solutions for all components of a holiday, including flights, car hire and insurance.

The business benefits from a highly recognised and well regarded brand built up over time through a combination of TV advertising, its commitment to hand-select every villa to ensure it offers the best in each destination and its direct sales model which allows its customers to benefit from competitive pricing. In recent years James Villa Holidays has successfully introduced the Best of James, Leisure Resort, James in Florida and Luxury ranges which have generated strong growth.

Vespa Capital supported the management buy out of James Villa Holidays in March 2008 when the business was acquired from its eponymous founder. Since then the business has undertaken continuous operational improvements which have delivered incremental profits and include areas such as enhanced internal reporting and analysis, strengthening the management team, rebalancing the property portfolio and developing the next generation of revenue growth streams.

James Villa Holidays has delivered exceptional performance given the difficult trading conditions over the last few years.

Tony Wheble, CEO of James Villas said “From the very start of our discussions I was impressed at how quickly the Vespa Capital partners grasped the main issues, opportunities and risks. This rigorous, thoughtful and dynamic approach helped get the deal done and has proven valuable to the Board on an ongoing basis. They have been a supportive shareholder and have provided value from access to both their own and their investors’ networks.”

Nigel Hammond of Vespa Capital said “We are delighted to have secured this transaction with Wyndham which has more than doubled our invested capital and allows James Villas to find a home with a complementary strategic acquirer. The success of our investment is a testament to the quality of the brand, the first class management team and the positive working relationship between the management team and Vespa Capital.”

About Vespa Capital

Vespa Capital is a private equity firm that invests in businesses in the UK and France. Entirely funded by entrepreneurs and its investing team, it partners with strong management teams and helps them acquire and develop the businesses they run. The firm’s partnership approach, longer term perspective and commercial and international network supports portfolio companies to deliver enhanced shareholder value growth.

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About James Villa Holidays

Established in 1984, James Villa Holidays is the leading specialist villa tour operator in the UK, offering handpicked quality accommodation across more than 50 destinations at affordable prices. With a portfolio of approximately 2,300 villas and a one-stop-shop offering for customers wishing to book all elements of their holiday, the business prides itself in having a dedicated and specialised team to offer customers the service expected from a full-service holiday company.

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