Business travel company to the stars, The Appointment Group, is believed to have been acquired by a fledgling private equity firm.

The Sunday Times reported that Apiary Capital paid £18 million for a majority stake in the company, according to a source close to the deal.

Steve Barrass, former dnata Travel senior vice president, is to join The Appointment Group next month as chief executive.

The Appointment Group specialises in handling travel for the music, entertainment, film and media sectors with clients reportedly including Jay-Z and Rihanna.

The group was founded in 1988 by Maurice Veronique and John Gianquitto. Veronique is a former chairman of the Guild of Travel Management Companies.

This is the debut deal for Apiary, founded by former Bowmark Capital partner Mark Salter, which has £200 million to invest in mid-market businesses.