Ward Hadaway Shines in Sale of Holiday Company

Posted on the 28 May 2017

Ward Hadaway Shines in Sale of Holiday Company

Law firm Ward Hadaway has been praised for its role in advising on the sale of an online travel agent to a Stock Market-listed group.

The Corporate team based at Ward Hadaway's Newcastle office provided legal advice to the shareholders of sunshine.co.uk on its sale to On The Beach plc for £12m.

Based in Cramlington, Northumberland, sunshine.co.uk was started in 2007 and specialises in low cost holidays to destinations around the world, as well as associated services such as car hire and airport transfers.

The company has enjoyed significant growth in recent years and in 2016 was named as one of the 50 fastest growing privately-owned companies in the North East in the Ward Hadaway Fastest 50.

It has now been sold to On The Beach plc, which operates onthebeach.co.uk, one of the UK's biggest online travel companies that services over a million customers a year.

The Cheadle-based group floated on the London Stock Market in 2015 and also operates an online holiday business in Sweden.

Katherine Hay-Heddle, Corporate Partner at Ward Hadaway, led the firm's team advising the shareholders of sunshine.co.uk on the deal, supported by Corporate Solicitors Clare French and Danielle Kelly.

Members of Ward Hadaway's specialist employment, tax, property, IT and data protection teams were also involved in advising on the transaction.

Katherine Hay-Heddle said: "We are delighted to have assisted the shareholders of sunshine.co.uk on the company's successful sale to On The Beach plc.

"Our experience in advising on other transactions in the travel sector and in dealing with large public companies stood us in good stead when it came to this important move for sunshine.co.uk

"We wish everyone at the company the very best for the future under the ownership of a well-known and highly successful group in the travel industry."

Zoe Stewart, finance director at sunshine.co.uk, said: "Katherine and the team at Ward Hadaway did an excellent job advising on the sale of the company. Their advice was prompt, professional and helped to ensure that the deal reached a successful conclusion."

Convex Capital provided corporate finance advice to the shareholders of sunshine.co.uk on the company's sale.

The transaction is the latest in a series of deals in the travel industry which Ward Hadaway has advised on.

Last year, the firm provided legal advice to the shareholders of Gateshead-based Business Travel on its sale to Sunderland-based Hays Travel – the UK's largest independent travel agent - for an undisclosed sum.

Katherine Hay-Heddle, who also led the Ward Hadaway team advising on the sale of Business Travel, said: "The travel industry is a fast-moving sector where there has been a lot of consolidation in recent years.

"It remains a very active market with a number of larger companies looking for potential acquisitions to increase their size and influence in the sector.

"We will be monitoring the situation closely and stand ready to provide our expertise and experienced advice to companies considering their next corporate moves."