London — Mayer Brown has advised European private equity client Vitruvian Partners on the acquisition through a secondary buyout of UK-based travel agents network Travel Counsellors from private equity house Equistone Partners.

Travel Counsellors was founded in 1994 by travel entrepreneur David Speakman. It operates a technology platform that supports 1,800 self-employed travel agents, and has expanded to include international operations in Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Australia and the UAE. In 2014, Equistone Partners backed a management buy-out of the business led by CEO Steve Byrne.

Vitruvian will continue to invest in and build on Travel Counsellors’ success bringing its wide sector and technology experience together with the company’s differentiated business model and culture.

Mayer Brown provided both corporate and finance legal advice, including working with the Civil Aviation Authority to authorise the acquisition.

The Firm's role on this deal further reinforces its leading credentials in the travel sector and follows close on the heels of its advisory work on two prior transactions by Vitruvian Partners in 2017, the purchase of OAG Aviation Holdings Limited in February, and the sale of JAC Travel in August 2017.

The Mayer Brown team was led by Private Equity partners Perry Yam and James West. The team included Corporate & Securities associate Charles Clendon, trainee solicitors Katie Bunce and Faadil Patel, Banking & Finance partner Andrew Crotty, associate Lynette Edwin and associate lawyer (Illinois) Sonali Maulik. Regulatory input was provided by International Trade counsel Margaret-Rose Sales (Washington DC) and Real Estate associate Natalie Carter.

Mayer Brown's leading global Private Equity practice has dedicated lawyers in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, who advise on all aspects of private equity transactions.