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Abercrombie & Kent sold to founder and Silversea’s Lefebvre

Geoffrey Kent has partnered with Silversea’s Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio to jointly acquire the luxury operator.

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Manfredi Lefebvre Geoffrey Kent .jpg
Manfredi Lefebvre Geoffrey Kent .jpg

Heritage Group, of which Lefebvre is chairman, will take an 85% stake and Kent, who founded Abercrombie & Kent in 1962, will receive a 15% share.

 

He will continue in his role as chairman and chief executive, while Lefebvre will become chairman of Abercrombie & Kent Holding.

 

The deal is expected to be completed later this year, subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

 

It is a separate investment by Lefebvre-led Heritage group and does not involve Silversea.

 

In October 2017, Chinese real estate and investment company Zhonghong Group completed its acquisition of 90.5% of Abercrombie & Kent for $412 million, with Kent retaining his ownership stake.

 

Speaking to TTG, Kent and Lefebvre said they had been friends for more than 20 years but “accelerated” discussions of a potential partnership last September.

 

Kent said Abercrombie & Kent would “continue just as normal with no change at all” to its running and use the investment of Heritage to make acquisitions and expansions to its operations.

 

Lefebvre said: “Geoffrey has a long queue of financial investors wanting to work with him, so I’m delighted he chose to partner me.

 

“I think he wanted someone with a similar background to him – a travel entrepreneur in the luxury space – who shares his values.”

 

He described how Heritage and Kent would continue growing the business and then "look at areas that can be added later”.

 

“We can expand DMCs, Abercrombie & Kent’s unique product – we can expand that too... we can look at it all,” he said.

 

Kent, added: “In this industry you need a partner to go through good times and bad times with, and Manfredi is someone who we can make decisions with together."

Supplier Directory Live: Silversea

Silversea

Since becoming the world's first luxury cruise line to launch a range of expedition voyages in 2008, it's paved the way with pioneering itineraries, expert expedition teams and a fleet of deluxe, intimate ships.

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