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Published on Thursday, April 23, 2020

Shearings parent 'in advanced talks with potential buyers'

The parent of coach holiday specialist Shearings is looking for potential buyers to stop the long-established tour operator falling into administration.

Sources close to the Specialist Leisure Group (SLG), which also owns the Bay Hotels chain and Caledonian Travel in Scotland, say there are a few credible expressions of interest on the table.

SLG and its controlling shareholder, Lone Star Funds, are reportedly working with Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) to find a way to secure the company's future amid the Covid-19 crisis.

A failure to do so would put 2,600 jobs at risk. Most staff have been furloughed under the UK Government scheme.

Aimed at the over 50s, Shearings dates back to 1903 when Smiths Happiways was founded in Wigan.

In 1921 Shearings was establish in Oldham, and, following acquisition by Pleasurama, the two companies merged to form Smiths Shearings in 1987.

In 1990 it was taken over by The Rank Organisation but became independent six years later.

It merged with Wallace Arnold in 2005 to become Shearings Group and in April 2016 became part of the Specialist Leisure Group.

Both SLG and Lone Star Funds declined to comment.

Shearings was recently one of the companies praised by agents for its support during the Covid-19 crisis in TravelMole's Smashed It campaign. 

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