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12 August 2019

Charles Russell Speechlys advises Geoffrey Kent on Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio partnership to jointly acquire Abercrombie & Kent Group

Charles Russell Speechlys has advised Geoffrey Kent, founder of luxury travel specialists Abercrombie and Kent, on his strategic partnership with Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, leading the Heritage group and Executive Chairman of Silversea Cruises, to jointly acquire 100% of the Abercrombie & Kent Group. The transaction brings together two luxury visionaries of the travel industry to develop further Abercrombie & Kent as the premier Luxury Travel Group. Mr Kent previously held a minority stake in the Abercrombie & Kent Group, with the majority stake held by RRJ Capital, an Asian investment firm which focuses on private equity investments in China and South-East Asia.

Geoffrey Kent is a true pioneer and visionary in the travel industry. He created the first luxury photographic African Safari back in 1962 in Kenya and since build the leading luxury travel company. Manfredi Lefebvre D’Ovidio developed Silversea Cruises, created by his father in 1994 with the purchase of two ships, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, into the leading luxury and expedition cruise company.

Mr Kent will continue as chairman and CEO of the operating company, while Mr Lefebvre will assume the role of chairman of Abercrombie & Kent Holding. The Heritage group will own 85% of Abercrombie & Kent and Geoffrey Kent 15%.

Commenting on the deal, Kent added: “I am very excited to be working with Manfredi as he has been my loyal friend for many years. I could not think of a better or more experienced partner for the next phase of our growth. It was a pleasure to work with the Charles Russell Speechlys team who were able to advise me on all aspects of this transaction, diligently navigating through the commercial complexities to enable us to complete on an accelerated timetable. I thoroughly appreciated their support and advice”.

Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio added: “Abercrombie & Kent is the best luxury tour operating company in the world, and I am very honoured to be able to partner with Geoffrey to expand this amazing company to its full potential.”

Speaking about the transaction, Andrew Clarke said: “It was a pleasure to work with Geoffrey and his team on the deal, and to complete the transaction efficiently and to a tight deadline. We have enjoyed the opportunity to build on the wealth of experience which the firm has in the travel sector. We wish Geoffrey and Manfredi every success as this premier business continues to grow and thrive.”

The team was led by Corporate Partners Andrew Clarke.