ECI on track to deliver 3.6x multiple with the sale of Great Rail Journeys

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ECI Partners today announces the sale of our investment in Great Rail Journeys (‘GRJ’), the world’s leading provider of escorted rail holidays, to Duke Street generating a 3.6x return. 

York based Great Rail Journeys offers almost 400 itineraries to over 50 countries globally. GRJ caters for a growing demographic group of culturally interested 55+ year old travellers who typically prioritise travel spend within their household budgets. Popular itineraries include a tour of India’s “Golden Triangle”, exploring the Swiss Alps on the Glacier Express and an iconic journey across Africa from Dar es Salaam to Cape Town. Last year, over 50,000 customers enjoyed a GRJ holiday and the Company is proud that over half of its business each year comes from its database. 

ECI invested in GRJ in March 2013 to help the company build on its strong market position and develop new areas for growth. Over the last five years GRJ has performed strongly, tapping into new source markets for its rail tours including Australia and more recently the US, following the establishment of an office in New York in 2017. The business has also just launched, for summer 2019, a unique and highly differentiated rail based premium river cruise offering which builds upon very strong pre-existing demand for such holidays from within its customer database.

Chris Watt, Managing Partner at ECI, commented:

We are pleased to announce the sale of Great Rail Journeys to Duke Street. Today’s deal adds to our strong track record in helping travel companies to grow and realise their full potential.

This has been a tremendously successful and enjoyable partnership working with Peter Liney and his team. Since 2013, Great Rail Journeys has achieved a huge amount with ECI’s support and today is the world’s leading company in the escorted rail holiday sector with an exciting future ahead of it.

Chris Watt

Managing Partner at ECI

“After five great years of working with ECI, who have helped us to internationalise the business, add new product lines, grow our profits and develop our management team, we are very excited to embark on the next chapter of our story.” Click here to watch our video with Peter Liney. 

Peter Liney

CEO of Great Rail Journeys

Great Rail Journeys was advised by Duff & Phelps (corporate finance), Travers Smith (legal) PwC (commercial) and Deloitte (financial and tax).

About the author

Chris Watt

"I’m one of the Managing Partners at ECI and a member of our Investment Committee. Having developed something of a focus on the travel sector in my early career, over the last few years I have been involved with a broader range of investments spanning EdTech, pet food, financial services and online marketplaces."

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