Cox & Kings to sell minority stake in UK arm for R765 cr

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SummaryCiti Venture Capital International, the private equity arm of Citigroup, will invest $137.75 million to pick up around 30% stake in Prometheon Holdings, a unit of Mumbai-based travel and tour operator Cox and Kings.

Citi Venture Capital International (CVCI), the private equity arm of Citigroup, will invest $137.75 million (R765 crore) to pick up around 30% stake in Prometheon Holdings (UK), a unit of Mumbai-based travel and tour operator Cox and Kings.

CKL director Peter Kerkar said, "This deal is a reflection of the confidence that CVCI Private Equity has placed in us and our decision to acquire Holidaybreak."

In September 2011, Cox and Kings had acquired UK-based education travel firm Holidaybreak for £312 million in an all-cash deal through Prometheon Holdings. The acquisition was the biggest by an Indian travel company.

“This investment is part of CVCI’s strategy of leveraging its cross border capabilities to back strong companies from emerging markets as they expand their global presence,” said Sunil Nair, CVCI private equity managing partner (India, Middle East, Africa).

“The money raised will be used to retire a part of the $330-million debt on Prometheon Holdings’ books,” said Anil Khandelwal, CFO at Cox and Kings. “Citi Venture will be picking up a stake of around 30%.”

“Holidaybreak’s business model is very different from the other travel companies as we are into the education travel space,” he added. “We have a market leadership position and we continue to grow which helped us attract the funding.”

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