Ski Solutions has supported the management buyout of Highlands-based adventure operator Wilderness Scotland.
The deal came after the wintersports operator secured £3 million of follow-on investment funding from existing investor Mobeus.
Aviemore-based Wilderness Scotland and sister brand Wilderness Ireland will form the newly-created Active Travel Group alongside Ski Solutions and
outbound cycle and walking operators BSpoke and Cycling for Softies.
The Active Travel Group expects to have combined sales of £28 million in 2018 and brings together a team of 75 staff looking after more than 20,000 clients on ski and adventure holidays.
The existing brands will continue to operate on the same basis from existing bases in Battersea in London, Aviemore and Sligo, with the Wilderness team of 35 led by co-founder and managing director, Paul Easto.
Easto will join the Active Travel Group board, chaired by ex-Tui and Scott Dunn executive veteran John Wimbleton.
Mobeus initially invested £6 million in Ski Solutions in last year to back a secondary buyout led by CEO Craig Burton.
The company had already planted the seeds of a group strategy with the acquisition of BSpoke in October 2014 and Cycling for Softies a year later.
By partnering with Wilderness Scotland and Wilderness Ireland the Active Travel Group is on track to build a geographically and seasonally balanced collection of activities and adventure businesses by 2020.
Burton said: “We are truly excited to bring these businesses together under shared ownership.
“Demand for high quality experiential holidays on our own shores is booming, and the addition of Wilderness Scotland and Wilderness Ireland at once balances our current outbound offering with inbound, and unites a team of passionate, talented and entrepreneurial ski and adventure travel professionals across the British Isles.”
Easto added: “For the past year we have been looking for a new investment partner to support our future plans. The support provided by
Mobeus has allowed us to achieve this objective while realising the ambition of putting more ownership in the hands of our talented and dedicated management team.
“We’re excited by this unique opportunity to join forces with the committed team at Ski Solutions to create the Active Travel Group.
“While the two businesses will continue to run independently, the potential for collaboration in many areas is exciting and significant.”
Mobeus partner, Ashley Broomberg, said: “We are delighted to have brought Ski Solutions and Wilderness Scotland together to create an exciting and ambitious travel group just 12 months after our original investment.
“The Active Travel Group combines several brands recognised for product expertise and customer excellence and is well on the way to delivering a compelling range of year-round, award-winning activity holidays.”
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