Panoramic invests £1.8m in ‘Archaeological Travel’ operator

Backing of Andante Travels marks fifth investment for Panoramic’s Enterprise Capital Fund

Equity investor Panoramic Growth Equity today announced that it has invested £1.8m in archaeological travel operator Andante Travels, marking the fifth investment from its £34m Enterprise Capital I fund.

Founded in 1985 by Dr Annabel Lawson, Andante Travels delivers customers guided tours to destinations of archaeological interest, covering 28 countries for 1,700 total customers in 2012.

It is part of a sub-sector of the travel market catering to an increasing demand for holidays that offer a cultural or educational experience.

Co-investor Ian Finlay, formerly of Tui Travel, will become CEO as part of the deal, with founder Dr Lawson continuing as an expert consultant to the company.

The investment will be used to support plans for growth by expanding the range of travel experiences and products the company offers, increasing marketing spend and expanding into overseas markets.

David Wilson, partner at Panoramic Growth Equity, commented: “Andante has successfully established itself as the market leading provider of archaeological travel and has consistently delivered strong performance.  Widely recognised by customers, journalists and the archaeological community, it enjoys a high level of repeat business and consistently scores highly in its customer feedback surveys.

“Ian Finlay has over 20 years’ experience in tour operating. He has worked closely with Andante for the last six months and is well placed to take the business on to its next stage of growth. Ultimately, this will mean more products and services for a broader range of Andante’s customers in Europe and the US.  We look forward to working alongside Ian and the management team as a co-investor and active partner.”

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