Big Bus Tours parent closes in on Leisure Pass deal

The owner of the sightseeing company Big Bus Tours is today reported to be close to a £150 million takeover of tourist business Leisure Pass Group.

Darran Evans, chief executive of Leisure Pass, is understood to be in line for a £30 million payday as Exponent is in the final stages of buying the business from a rival private equity firm, Primary Capital, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Evans joined the visitor pass business in 2002 and arranged a £35 million management buyout four years ago, backed by Primary.

Exponent bought Big Bus Tours for around £400 million last year and sold a 15% slice in February to Merlin Entertainments.

Merlin paid £27.4 million for its stake in the world’s largest operator of open-topped bus sightseeing tours.

Leisure Pass Group is the world’s biggest provider of tourist passes, which allow holders free or reduced entry to a number of attractions in London, Paris, Dublin and Berlin. It also offers passes in Las Vegas, Singapore and New Orleans.

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