Mumbai: Cox and Kings Ltd, one of the oldest travel agents in India, has sold a majority stake in its subsidiaries—hotel booking website LateRooms UK Ltd and short break specialist firm Superbreak, the company informed the exchanges on Monday.
The company said it has sold 100% in LateRooms to Malvern Enterprises UK Ltd for £20 million ( ₹ 188.51 crore).
Cox and Kings’ 65.58% owned subsidiary, Holidaybreak Ltd, has sold 100% of its Superbreak business to Malvern in a transaction whereby Holidaybreak received a net cash consideration of £9.25 million. “The goodwill write-off on sale of Superbreak is £71.4 million," the company said.
The proceeds were used to pay off debt.
In addition, Cox and Kings has bought a 49% stake in Malvern for £6.37 million, the filing said. Malven is 51% owned by an Europe-based private equity investor. “The transaction will enable Malvern to independently follow its own strategic growth path in the under penetrated city-breaks market within the online package tour space," the filing said.
Superbreak and LateRooms are likely to gain substantially from a unified management team under the strategic guidance of the private equity investor and Cox and Kings, the statement added.
The transaction is effective 31 March.
Cox and Kings’ 49% equity stake in Malvern will be accounted for as an investment in an associate company, with its proportionate share of profit or loss reflected in Cox and Kings’ profit and loss account from the current financial year onwards, the holiday firm said.
The firm has been selling businesses that have no synergy with its existing businesses.
In December, Cox and Kings had sold Explore Worldwide Ltd, a unit of its subsidiary Holidaybreak Plc, to Hotelplan (UK Group) Ltd, a specialist UK tour operator, for £25.8 million. Explore Worldwide, which includes the brands Explore (soft adventure tours) and RegalDive (diving adventures), generated net revenue of £11.2 million and operating profit of £2.3 million in fiscal 2015.
In September 2011, Cox and Kings, through its UK unit Prometheon Holdings (UK) Ltd, had acquired the European education and leisure Holidaybreak for £312 million in an all-cash transaction, marking the biggest overseas acquisition by an Indian travel company and the ninth acquisition by Cox and Kings.
Holidaybreak is a UK-listed specialist travel company operating in education and activity travel groups. It has operations in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland.
In June 2014, Cox and Kings sold Holidaybreak’s camping division to France’s Homair Vacances for £89.2 million. Cox and Kings got £85.5 million in cash on completion of the deal and an additional £3.7 million in the form of a deferred payment and relates to a tax refund. The proceeds were used to cut debt.