NVM Private Equity (NVM) has supported the management buy-out of No.1 Traveller (No.1) with £7 million of funding. As a part of the investment package NVM will provide development capital to finance a pipeline of new airport lounge opportunities.
London-based No.1 is an award-winning airport hospitality specialist. The business currently operates five airport lounges at Heathrow Terminal 3, Gatwick North and South Terminals, Stansted and Birmingham, offering a broad range of facilities including a bistro, a bar serving complimentary food and beverages, work-friendly spaces, family and entertainment rooms, WiFi, magazines and newspapers. No.1 also provides travel spas (at Heathrow and Gatwick) and a pod hotel airside at Heathrow Terminal 3, as well as a range of additional ‘Driveway to Runway’ services such as chauffeur-driven airport transfers, express trains, airport parking, security fast-track, VIP Departure & Arrival Services. Customers can also access a selection of associate lounges around the world.
The business was founded in 2006 by British entrepreneur and internationally award-winning theatre producer, Phil Cameron. A regular traveller himself, he decided to use his extensive knowledge of branding, marketing and ticket sales to establish No.1. Since then, Phil and his team have developed a strong reputation in their market, to the extent that airport operators now proactively ask for No.1 lounges at their sites.
The business has increased significantly in size for three consecutive years and generates income through a number of revenue streams including airline partnerships, work with independent agents, member schemes and direct B2C sales. No.1’s customers have increased significantly year-on-year, with over 650,000 customers visiting its lounges last year, generating a turnover of £10.5 million. NVM’s funding will support numerous planned expansions throughout 2014, including four new airside lounge facilities, which will increase its available market to over 50 million passengers a year.
The airport lounge market is divided into two separate categories: independent lounges offering services to any passenger travelling through a specific airport; and airline operator lounges offering services to their own customers. As an independent lounge provider, No.1 benefits from limited market competition — so there is an opportunity for strong growth across the UK and Europe.
The future looks bright too, as an estimated 6.7 billion passengers will travel through airports by 2032. The strongest growth will be seen across Asia-Pacific regions, with the forecast construction of 350 new airports.
Phil Cameron, Founder and CEO of No.1 Traveller, comments: “We are delighted to be starting the next step of our business growth with NVM. In its first five years No.1 has established great new ways of catching a flight. For many, the airport experience is now a key element of a holiday or business trip, not just part of the journey, so there are big opportunities ahead of us. We look forward to launching new lounges and products in the near future, further strengthening our brand and global reach.”
Peter Hodson, Director of NVM Private Equity, comments: “We are excited to be a part of No.1’s journey going forward, especially given the growing global demand for airport lounges. No.1 is a well-respected and innovative British company whose management team has built strong relationships with airports, airlines and network partners. Phil and his team have developed and refined their business model over the years to ensure No.1’s success and profitability.”
Notes To Editors
Riverhill Partners LLP (Management advisors) – Peter Collini, Lawrence Chapman
Wragge & Co. (NVM lawyers) – Ian Piggin, Neil Pearson, James Bradshaw, Paul Harrington, Graham Spalding, Saffron Smith, Caroline Frost
Harbottle & Lewis (Management lawyers) – Colin Howes, David Scott, Teresa Leung, Ryan McWhinnie
Baker Tilly (Financial and tax due diligence) – James Carnegie, Craig Simpson, Rebecca Reading
Armstrong TS (Commercial due diligence) – Tom Raymond, Ian Pawson
Continuum (Management due diligence) – Steve Wycherley
Aon (NVM – Insurance due diligence) – John Donald
No.1 Traveller specialises in premium hospitality and provides a complete ‘Driveway to Runway’ service including smart chauffeur-driven airport transfers, Express train tickets, airport parking, VIP Departure & Arrival Service and award-winning airport lounges (No.1 Traveller’s own collection, plus associate lounges abroad). It works with airlines, businesses and individuals to offer a convenient and comfortable service to take the hassle out of getting to and through airports – the smart traveller’s choice. No.1 Traveller can be booked by anyone at www.No1Traveller.com
NVM Private Equity is independently owned with over 29 years’ experience of investing in unquoted UK businesses. NVM is a generalist investor, managing over £290 million of funds, and is differentiated by having executives living and working in regional business communities throughout the UK. NVM seeks investment opportunities in UK businesses which have the right mix of growth potential and market vision. They may be looking to grow organically, acquire another business or secure a management buy-out. Typically, NVM looks to invest between £2 million and £10 million in each transaction. www.nvm.co.uk
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