Irish operator Travel Department secures ‘significant’ funding for expansion

Irish operator Travel Department secures ‘significant’ funding for expansion

Irish group holiday operator Travel Department has secured an unspecified “significant investment” to enable it to expand.

MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland is investing in the business which has been operating for more than 22 years.

The operator has been run by ex-Thomson Holidays, easyJet, Holiday Autos, Expedia and Hoseasons executive Sara Zimmerman as chief executive for three years.

Travel Department, which runs tours to more than 100 destinations worldwide, expects revenue of more than €40 million for 2017.

The investment, which is subject to regulatory approval, will help management to continue to drive significant growth, according to the company.

The deal represents the tenth investment made from MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland, a €125 million fund supported by Enterprise Ireland, Allied Irish Banks and a number of international institutional investors.

The fund is dedicated to backing small and medium sized private businesses located on Ireland.

Zimmerman said: “We are delighted to have found an experienced Irish investment partner in MML.

“The MML team not only shares our vision for the future of the business, but recognises the importance of continuing to put the customer at the heart of everything we do.

“We are also delighted that Bob Haugh, the founder of Travel Department, will remain an investor in the business.”

Neil McGowan, who led the deal for MML, added: “MML is delighted to partner with Sara and her team in Travel Department. We are backing a market leading business led by an experienced team with a very strong understanding of the market and their customers, and with significant ambitions for the future.”

The investment is also supported by bank financing provided by AIB.

Emmett Neeson, director at AIB specialised finance, said: “AIB is delighted to partner with MML on another transaction and support Sara and the Travel Department team.

“We look forward to working with the management team to further support the business over the coming years”.

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