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Private equity group buys Queenstown's Active Adventures

Private equity group buys Queenstown's Active Adventures for undisclosed sum

By Sophie Boot

Aug. 4 (BusinessDesk) - An Australian private equity consortium has bought Queenstown-based tour agency Active Adventures, with two of the former owners staying on the board.

The consortium, led by fund manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments, closed the deal on Tuesday, it said in a statement. It also includes Australian businessman Brett Godfrey, co-founder and former chief executive of Virgin Blue and current deputy chairman of Tourism Australia and Auckland International Airport, and Sydney-based investment banker Scott Malcolm, who founded independent corporate advisory firm Greenstone Partners in 2003.

Blue Sky’s private equity investment director Nick Miller and Blue Sky investment associate Ben Milton will join the new Active Adventures board, with two of the three former shareholders - Michelle Trapski and Robin Wiseley - set to join as well. Phil Boorman, the third shareholder, has divested his shares.

Active Adventures offers fully-guided, all-inclusive small group adventures in New Zealand, Nepal, Europe and South America, and has been running for over 20 years. Wiseley said the sale was a significant step for the continued growth of the business. The price wasn't disclosed.

"Over the last four years we’ve enjoyed amazing growth, more than doubling our turnover, adding new destinations to our business and our new brand New Zealand Walking tours launched in April," Wiseley said. "There are so many options in terms of growth through acquisition, development of new niche brands and potentially new offshore destinations."

"From a business perspective, this brings additional levels of governance and expertise to the table, but for clients nothing has changed. They will continue to experience the same level of hospitality, attention to detail and personalised service that Active Adventures is renowned for."



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