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Inflexion Private Equity backed buyout of Virgin Experience Days

Cooper Parry Corporate Finance has advised the Management Team on the Inflexion Private Equity backed buyout of Virgin Experience Days, the UK’s leading experience business.

From hot air balloon rides to champagne afternoon tea, from flying Spitfires to luxury breaks, Virgin Experience Days offers curated experiences to consumers and corporates. The business sells over 750,000 of these experiences each year, and its revenue has doubled to £50m in the past three years.

Virgin Experience Days’ is the largest player in the UK market and operates both a B2C and B2B division. The B2C offering provides customers with access to leisure experiences via branded vouchers and gift cards. The B2B division, Virgin Incentives, offers experience days for employee rewards and recognition programmes, with huge clients such as Barclaycard and Samsung.

The businesses success has been driven by both a seamless tech-enabled customer experience and the continued ongoing consumer shift to sharing experiences over buying tangible goods – something which we covered in May’s edition of our Consumer Outlook report. The existing management team will work with Inflexion to accelerate growth in B2C and B2B sectors.

As part of the buyout, Inflexion Private Equity introduced leisure sector expert, Simon McMurtrie, as Chairman and the highly experienced Commercial Director, Matthew Briggs. Both will work alongside CEO Paul O’Brien who has led the business for over a decade.

What people said

Paul O’Brien, CEO, Virgin Experience Days, commented, “It’s been a pleasure leading Virgin Experience Days over the last 12 years, and I am proud of the successful business it is today. Inflexion shares our vision for growth, backed by their digital expertise and international reach; we look forward to a prosperous partnership.”

Our team was led by Ben Rookes, Corporate Finance Partner, who said, “Virgin Experience Days is a good business with a great management team.  Future growth prospects are strong, underpinned by millennials preferring to spend their disposable income on experiences rather than an item.  The deal has all the makings of a successful Inflexion backed buy-out led by Paul O’Brien and his team”.

Ben Rookes
Corporate Finance Partner

T: +44 (0)7817 458170
E: benr@cooperparry.com

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