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SHG kicks off footie growth with purchase

THE SPECIALIST Holidays Group has bought specialist
sports operator International Academy for £2 million.

SHG, part of TUI Northern Europe, has acquired the
Cardiff-based operator from owners Leisure Ventures, run by former former
Airtours managing director Harry Coe.

Of the total payment, £1.8 million is payable over the
next four years, dependent on the operator’s performance.

Coe bought International Academy, known as TIA, in
August 2002 for £8.3 million.  It made a
considerable loss in the year to April 30, 2003, which Leisure Ventures blamed
on September 11, Iraq war, and the SARS outbreak.

A statement by Leisure Ventures to the City read:
“This loss has absorbed most of the cash resources of the company.  After consulting with advisers and major
shareholders, the directors of the company pursued a number of alternatives in
order to secure the long term financial stability of the company and concluded
it was best to sell TIA to an organisation better placed to secure the
necessary future requirements of the business.”

The International Academy operates school ski
holidays, ski instructor training and sports coaching programmes, including
football coaching.

SHG ski and lakes division managing director Stuart
McLeod said expansion was planned in both the operator’s ski and football
coaching programmes. All International Academy staff will be retained and its
chief executive Alun Williams will report into McLeod.


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