1st Class Holidays to PHD Equity Partners Deal shortlisted for ‘Deal of the Year (sub £10m)’

Benchmark International is proud to announce that the deal in which 1st Class Holidays was acquired by PHD Equity Partners has been shortlisted for ‘Deal of the Year (sub £10m)’ at this year’s Insider North West Dealmakers Awards.

An annual and prestigious event, the Insider North West Dealmakers Awards celebrates the achievements of the North West’s corporate M&A professionals and recognises the firms and individuals who are at the top of their game.

Benchmark International advised 1st Class Holidays on the sale to PHD Equity Partners and successfully negotiated a deal to suit the objectives of both parties, whilst also enabling shareholders and original founders, Paul Ainsworth and Sharon Mason, to retain an active role within the business.

Founded in 1996, 1st Class Holidays quickly established itself as the market leader in long haul, tailor-made holidays to luxury destinations such as Canada, North America, Australia and New Zealand. A company with vision, it shows no signs of slowing down and continues to lead the way in the industry, winning the ‘Favourite Tour Operator’ a record 13 times at the British Annual Canada Travel Awards.

PHD Equity Partners is an independent investment and advisory private equity firm that manages one of the UK’s largest private equity funds, exclusively funded by private investors. The Partners are a team of industry seasoned, experienced corporate finance professionals and entrepreneurs, who have an innate understanding of the challenges of growing and shaping a successful business.

“We are delighted to have achieved a successful outcome for our clients, and to have completed our first deal with the highly-regarded PHD Equity Partners”, said Nick Hulme, Managing Director (Transactions), Benchmark International.

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