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20 Sep 2018

BY James Chapple

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TRFBLI

Minoan agrees £6.5 million sale of Stewart Travel

Minoan has agreed the sale of its Scottish travel agency division Stewart Travel for £6.5 million, allowing it to focus on its luxury resort in Crete.

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Minoan agrees £6.5 million sale of Stewart Travel

The group announced on Thursday morning (September 20) it had entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Zachary Asset Holdings Limited (ZAH).


New owner ZAH will lend Stewart, via loans to Brooklyn Travel Holdings and Brooklyn Travel, cash to repay Minoan £782,000 inter-company debts.


The deal will see ZAH incorporate Brooklyn Travel Holdings as a wholly-owned subsidiary, which in turn has incorporated Brooklyn Travel as a wholly-owned subsidiary.


Duncan Wilson, managing director of Minoan and Stewart Travel, along with Rick Green and Brian Cassidy, both members of the Stewart Travel senior management team, will in aggregate hold a 25% equity stake in Brooklyn Travel Holdings.


Zachary, a subsidiary of Hillside International Holdings Limited, acquired Minoan’s debt earlier this year after a series of extensions to its October 2013 loan facility.


In a statement, Minoan said completion of the sale would allow it to “concentrate on optimising the value of the group’s luxury resort project in Crete”, for which it has now been granted “outline planning consent”.


The project dates to 2007 but has undergone various iterations amid planning and legal scrutiny. The cost of the project, which Minoan says will be “a new landmark for tourism in Greece”, is estimated to run to around €250 million.


Situated on the Cavo Sidero peninsula, the resort will be set in more than 6,000 acres of land, with 28km of coastline. The proposed build will compromise less than 0.5% of the site with more than 90% left in its natural state.


Minoan said it sought to sell Stewart as it had been unable to raise, on “acceptable terms”, the funds required to expand the retail divisions quickly as it had hoped, and to reduce its debts.

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