Are the big players interested in buying smaller agencies? Well, it depends on who you ask.
MONACO — Heritage Group, headed up by Silversea Cruises chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, will own 85% of luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent while A&K founder Geoffrey Kent will own 15% in a new strategic partnership announced today.
Kent will continue to be Chairman and CEO of the operating company, officially Abercrombie & Kent Group of Companies S.A., while Lefebvre will become Chairman of Abercrombie & Kent Holding.
Kent and Lefebvre have known each other for more than 20 years and have also been business partners, having acquired the MV Explorer in 1992.
Lefebvre built Silversea Cruises, created by his father in 1994 with the purchase of two ships, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, into a leading luxury and expedition cruise line. He is now the Chairman and former owner of Silversea.
In summer 2018 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) acquired a 66% stake in Silversea Cruises. A&K is a separate and unique investment by Heritage, led by Lefebvre, and does not involve Silversea, according to a statement about this latest deal.
Kent is credited with creating the first luxury tented photographic safaris in 1962 in Kenya and built A&K into the world’s leading luxury and adventure travel company.
“Abercrombie & Kent is the finest luxury travel company in the world, and I am honoured to be able to partner with Geoffrey Kent to help this remarkable company continue its record growth,” said Lefebvre.
Kent added: “I am very excited to be working with Manfredi. I cannot think of a better or more experienced partner for the next phase of A&K’s growth.”
The closing is expected to be completed later in the year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.