RSM’s M&A and private equity team has successfully advised Direct Ferries, the world’s largest ferry ticket aggregator, on securing private equity backing from Livingbridge.
The investment by mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge will support Direct Ferries’ ambitious growth strategy, particularly in US and Asian markets. Beauport Partners, led by Greg Wills, the co-founder and CEO of Rentalcars (now part of the Priceline Inc Group), will also be investing in Direct Ferries. HSBC provided senior debt funding and facilities.
Direct Ferries is the world’s largest price aggregator in the passenger ferry sector. It sells ferry tickets on behalf of over 150 operators worldwide including P&O Ferries, Stena Line and Brittany Ferries. Last year, it sold £85m of ferry tickets through its online search portal www.directferries.com. It operates websites in 22 languages and covers almost 2,000 ferry routes globally.
What RSM did
Early in 2014, RSM advised the vendors on a debt-only management buy-out from the previous owners. Having maintained the relationship, RSM were engaged again in late 2015 to find a funder to support them in continuing to grow the business internationally. The transaction was completed within two months of going to market, with RSM managing the shareholders through a highly intensive due diligence process to a successful conclusion with Livingbridge.
'RSM have provided us with unparalleled support since we were first introduced to them three years ago. They have commerciality, an eye for detail and resolve in equal measures. Most of all I felt they were great negotiators.
They secured an excellent deal for us, whilst always making sure that we had options and that we protected the business. They’ve had our back from the start and I couldn’t have asked for better advisers by our side.'
Matt Davies, Managing Director
Rob Donaldson, Partner, T +44(0)7968 067644
Adam Spencer, Associate Director, T +44(0)7736 843964
Amy Hunter, Executive, T +44(0)7934 006508