Blake Morgan advises on Management Buyout to help tailormade travel business, The Artisan Travel Company, thrive

Posted on 18th September 2023

Blake Morgan has advised on the Management Buyout (“MBO”) of The Artisan Travel Group Ltd and its subsidiaries (“Artisan”).

The leading law firm advised the exiting shareholders of Artisan on the MBO, which saw a leading investor in entrepreneurial UK companies, Panoramic Growth Equity (“Panoramic”), invest in Artisan alongside Artisan’s existing Managing Director, Amy Hope and Chairman, Ian Finlay to help Artisan continue its growth.

A cross-departmental effort from Blake Morgan, led by Corporate Partner, Mat Wilson and assisted by Solicitor, Katie Newham, saw a team of corporate, employment, pensions, real estate and commercial experts advise on the deal. Blake Morgan worked closely alongside Stewart Lambert, Director of the Firebird Partnership, who advised on the Corporate Finance elements of the deal.

Founded in 2002 by Alistair and Kate McLean, Artisan is an independent tailormade tour operator encompassing multiple travel brands, including The Aurora Zone – the UK’s only holiday brand solely dedicated to Northern Lights trips. With Panoramic’s investment, further growth is expected. The deal will lead to the expansion of other brands within Artisan’s group – Activities Abroad and Artisan Travel – creating several skilled jobs in Newcastle Upon Tyne where the business operates.

Mat Wilson commented:

We are delighted to have advised on this MBO to enable Ali and Kate the exit they worked so hard over past 20 years or so to achieve and to help Artisan continue to flourish. The business has battled through the tough times of Covid and thanks to this deal with Panoramic and with Amy Hope at the helm supported by Ian Finlay, the business can go from strength-to-strength.

Amy Hope, Managing Director of Artisan added: “Ian and I would like to thank Mat, Katie and the Blake Morgan team for helping the shareholders navigate this transaction to completion. They ensured we were kept up-to-date and guided us through the entire process, leaving no stone unturned. We have no doubt that Artisan will continue to thrive and are very much looking forward to this next chapter working with our highly experienced travel partner Panoramic.”

Amy Hope will continue to lead the management team, supported by Ian Finlay and Panoramic Principal, David Wilson, who joins the Artisan board.

Blake Morgan has a strong reputation in MBOs, principally advising owner managers on all legal aspects including sale and purchase documents, shareholder and employment agreements, new funding and investment agreements, institutional lending and related securitisation.

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