The management team of Key Travel are leading a management buy-out (MBO) of the business with help from ISIS Equity Partners.
The £9 million transaction will give Key Travel the capital it needs to accelerate growth in the US following its acquisition of American company World Travel Management in 2010.
Founded in 1980 by Alaya Sodha, Key Travel provides travel requirement services to the not-for-profit, academic and faith sectors in the UK, Europe and US. It arranges airline tickets, hotels, visas and provides risk management services to businesses such as Oxfam and institutions including Cambridge University.
Company CEO Spence Knudson is leading the deal and will now be looking to grow Key Travel in the UK academic market.
Knudson comments, ‘The management team investment demonstrates their commitment to the future of the business and I personally look forward to leading the next phase of our development with them and the support of ISIS.
‘We considered a number of investment proposals, but chose to partner with ISIS because they had a genuine affinity with our business, and the sector we serve.’
Key Travel now joins the ISIS portfolio along other business services companies such as Armstrong Craven and YSC. The investment deal is the eighth ISIS Equity Partners deal of 2013 – of which two have been MBOs.
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Peter Clarke, partner at ISIS Equity Partners, says that the investment firm has been an admirer of Key Travel for a long time.
‘When the opportunity to invest as part of the MBO came along we were keen to be able to play a part and support Spence and the team in the next chapter,’ he adds.
‘We are already looking to invest further capital to support the ambitious growth plans of the business and have a number of potential acquisitions in our sights.’
As well as completing eight new investments in 2013, and two exits, ISIS also closed its new £51.5 million institutional fund called ISIS Growth I.