Management books Hotelscene deal

The management team at Hotelscene, a hotel and conference booking agent that specialises in online corporate hotel bookings, has bought the business in an undisclosed seven-figure deal.

The group, which provides its services to large and medium-sized UK corporates, was acquired by a team led by managing director Nick Foot.

The deal was backed by Bestport Ventures LLP, which invested £1.75 million from Bestport LP Fund, with HSBC providing the debt finance.

Foot said the management team was looking for an equity partner with solid sector experience and a collegiate, entrepreneurial approach to back the deal. “As such, we are extremely pleased to be partnering with Bestport.

“We are a highly motivated and professional team and finding the right investor with a real empathy for our culture was of utmost importance to us,” he added. “We are excited about working alongside Bestport to build on our success to date.”

Bestport’s investment was co-ordinated by managing partner Ole Bettum, who said: “Hotelscene is a highly professional and innovative provider of travel booking services to corporate customers looking to increase compliance with corporate travel policy and reduce costs.

“We are delighted to lead this deal, which will facilitate a re-alignment of shareholder interests and ensure the continued rapid growth of the company,” he added.

This is the third investment made by Bestport LP Fund since it closed its £18 million funding round in May this year.

The management team received tax advice from Hotelscene’s existing adviser Bishop Fleming, which was led by partner Jonathan Williams.

Williams said this was a complicated deal that involved partial exits, a re-investment and the introduction of a new VC.

“This is the second buy-out and re-investment the company has undertaken in the past few years,” he added. “The company has shown impressive growth and this latest deal positions it well for further growth.”

Bestport and HSBC received a due diligence report on Hotelscene’s activities from Tenon Corporate Finance.

The process was led by director Julian Cough and senior manager Richard Lucas from the firm’s transaction services team in Nottingham.

Lucas said the review focused on identifying and resolving the key issues to bring the transaction to an early and successful conclusion.

“The investors and management of this company have a clear strategy to grow this business and should benefit from a number of strategic alliances,” he added. “We look forward to the company continuing to grow over the next few years.”

Hotelscene manages large corporate hotel and conference accounts for clients, including BT, the BBC, EDS and Smith & Nephew.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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