Shearings management sells shares to US group to fund expansion plans

Shearings management sells shares to US group to fund expansion plans Denis Wormwell, Shearings chief executive.

Almost two years on since its management buy-out, Shearings Group’ entire shareholding has been acquired by US-based Lone Star Funds which was previously a minority shareholder in the group. The acquisition has been announced simultaneously with purchase by Shearings of Equalmatch, which in turn owns the Travelstyle and UK Breakaways brands.

Former Travelodge boss and existing Shearings non-exec director Grant Hearn is set to be named Shearings’ chairman. Hearn chairs another Lone Star-backed business, Amaris Hospitality, which owns a number of Jurys Inn and Accor hotels.

Wigan-based Shearings reported a 30 per cent increase in profits to £9.1million in 2015, up from £7million in the previous year. The group made a pre-tax profit of £5million compared to a loss of £900,000 in 2014, carrying 1.1 million passengers with revenues of £201million, up slightly from 2014’s £200million.

Earlier this year Shearings announced the largest ever order for Mercedes-Benz Tourismos in the UK with 46 coaches set to join the Shearings and National Holidays fleet this year, on top of 38 Tourismos delivered in 2015.

Denis Wormwell remains as chief executive of the group: “This was another landmark year for the group, with a fourth successive year of improved financial results, continued investment in the business, new ownership and our first business acquisition since 2005.

“With the backing of a long-term investment partner, our best ever line up of holidays and hotels, a well-invested estate and fleet and the loyalty of our fast-expanding over-50s audience, we’re in the ideal position to continue growing our presence and position as the leading escorted tours operator.”