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Luxury travel news

12 Feb 2019

BY Tom Parry

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TRFBLI

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.

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."

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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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