Deal Announcement


DC advisory advises Vitruvian Partners on the acquisition of Sykes cottages

28 Oct 2019

Background: 

  • Sykes Cottages (Sykes) is a leading UK-based holiday property letting agency operating across the UK, Ireland and New Zealand
  • Founded by Clive Sykes in 1991, the company has grown its portfolio to c.15,000 cottages across the UK and Ireland, through both organic growth and the acquisition of regional letting agencies, underpinned by a digital transformation strategy
  • Additionally, Sykes entered the international market in April 2019, acquiring Bachcare, the largest regional operator in New Zealand with c.2,000 cottages
  • Sykes is headquartered in Cheshire with regional offices across the UK and New Zealand and is led by CEO Graham Donoghue
  • Livingbridge, a mid-market private equity firm, acquired a majority stake in 2015

Process: 

  • DC Advisory (DC) was engaged by Vitruvian Partners to provide M&A and debt advice in relation to the potential acquisition of Sykes Cottages
  • In a competitive and tight process, and working closely with Vitruvian, DC provided strategic advice, process and sector intelligence, detailed analysis of potential UK and international M&A targets, data-driven analytics and insight into competitive dynamics
  • DC’s Capital Advisory Group secured an attractive debt package with existing lender EQT in addition to a facility with NatWest, maximising operational flexibility for the company
  • DC also leveraged sector experience and insight across its European and US offices

Outcome: 

  • On 28th October 2019, Livingbridge announced the sale of Sykes to Vitruvian Partners
  • The existing management team, led by CEO Graham Donoghue, will continue to guide the business under Vitruvian’s ownership
  • Vitruvian is well placed to support Sykes through the next stage of its growth story, leveraging Vitruvian’s extensive experience in the travel technology sector
  • The UK market remains highly fragmented and under Vitruvian’s ownership Sykes will continue its proven M&A strategy domestically, in addition to furthering its international presence

Deal Team

Nam Quach

Managing Director
United Kingdom

Andrew Strudwick

Managing Director
United Kingdom

Ciara O'Neill

Managing Director
United Kingdom

Edward Godfrey

Executive Director
United Kingdom

Paolo Rigutto

Director
United Kingdom

Testimonials

“Sykes Holiday Cottages has gone from strength to strength, growing from a trusted family-run business to one of the largest holiday home rental platforms in Europe. In Sykes we have found a team with a mission to become a global category leader and we hope to support that with our experience and capital. We back exceptional high-growth technology-enabled businesses with proven leadership teams and are excited to partner with Sykes Holiday Cottages during its next phase of growth”

Ben Johnson

Partner, Vitruvian Partners

“We are delighted to have worked with Vitruvian and to have advised them on their successful acquisition. This transaction further enhances our credentials in the travel & leisure sectors and we look forward to working with Vitruvian again in the future.”

Nam Quach 

Managing Director, DC Advisory UK