Force is with Abbey Tours buyout
Tuesday April 19 2022, 12.01am BST, The Sunday Times
DunPort Capital is backing a management buyout at Abbey Tours, the country’s largest inbound tour company, with funds from its €50 million pandemic recovery and stabilisation fund.
Abbey’s chief financial officer Darren Byrne is leading the buyout, with seven fellow managers, from the current director shareholders, Jane Magnier and Marina Finn. Byrne will become chief executive after the deal.
Abbey organises package tours to Britain and Ireland, including visits to Skellig Michael, where two Star Wars movies filmed. It posted revenues of €94.5 million in 2019, making profits of €4.2 million. Sales slumped to €2.5 million and losses rose to €5.7 million in 2020. It ended the year with net assets of €15 million.
DunPort set up the recovery fund with backing from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. Its aim is to help companies exit the pandemic with financial stability and position them for recovery and growth.
Abbey is the fund’s first investment. Ross Morrow, DunPort executive director, said: “It was a great company pre-Covid, and will be a great company post-Covid.”