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Published on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Travelopia sells North American education brands






Travelopia has sold its North American Experience Education brands (NAEE) to WorldStrides for an undisclosed sum.


The sale includes World Class Vacations and Brightspark US, serving the US educational market, and Brightspark Canada, Jumpstreet and Educatours in Canada.


Travelopia boss Andy Duncan revealed at the ABTA Convention last month that Travelopia, which was previously TUI's specialist holiday division before being sold to private equity firm KKR last year for £325 million, wanted to be left with just 10 brands, down from more than 50, within a year.


Today, he said: "Our strategy under KKR ownership is to become the world's best experiential travel company by focussing on a select number of brands in the Travelopia Group and the sale of these brands is a further step forward towards this ambition."


The acquisition of NAEE will enable WorldStrides to expand its broad travel programme for music, theatre and dance groups, and will enhance its teacher-led, curriculum-based tour offerings globally.


The brands will continue to operate under separate brand names with discrete programming options, said NAEE.


NAEE chief operating and chief finance officer Bill Irwin said "We are excited to join a company that lives our mission every day. The opportunities for collaboration, growth and learning are endless and myself and the team look forward to the journey ahead with WorldStrides."


Duncan added: "The NAEE brands are excellent businesses with a strong track record of delivering exceptional developmental travel experiences to students, which fits perfectly within the WorldStrides portfolio.


"I am delighted for Bill and the team as they continue their growth story with WorldStrides. We thank them for their hard work and wish them the best of luck under their new ownership."


The deal completed on November 4 and the terms were not disclosed.

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