International legal practice Osborne Clarke has advised RJD Partners (“RJD”), the UK Private Equity investor, in the management buyout of Class Tours Limited (“Class Tours”), a leading provider of language programmes and educational tours to schools in the UK.

This is the fourth investment from RJD’s third buyout fund, following the investment in Barber of Sheffield, and follows RJD’s successful investment track record in the education and leisure sectors.

Based in Hove, Class Tours is a well-respected provider of language programmes to schools with its Château de la Baudonnière courses in Normandy perhaps the most well-known. The business also provides other exclusive language programmes in Northern France and Spain as well as an impressive portfolio of other tours which carry a strong educational emphasis delivered through the Voyager brand.

RJD has taken a majority stake in the business and has invested alongside Class Tours’ management team. RJD will work alongside the ambitious management team to grow the business further organically and to realise their plans to expand their portfolio of exclusive programmes through corporate and property based acquisitions.

The investment in Class Tours builds on RJD’s track record in both the educational market, and the leisure space, following successful investments in businesses such as Education Personnel, Verdant Leisure and European Boating Holidays.

The deal reflects the recent high level of private equity activity in the travel sector – with a number of new travel investments made by funds in 2017 and exits expected for travel businesses in the next six months.

RJD is a valued and longstanding client of Osborne Clarke and this transaction marks the continued successful relationship with the fund. In the last 18 months Osborne Clarke has advised RJD on six transactions including its investment in Barber of Sheffield and the sale of portfolio company Intrinsic Technology.

The Osborne Clarke Corporate team who advised RJD included Partners Mark Spinner and Tim Hewens, Associate Directors Ken Wilkinson and Mark Saunders, Senior Associate Tian Tang. Partner Erika Jupe advised on Tax matters.

Osborne Clarke has a strong presence in the UK private equity market and this latest deal is one of a number of recent successful transactions the team have worked on.

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