Abercrombie & Kent founder Geoffrey Kent has struck a partnership with Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, executive chairman of Silversea Cruises, to acquire 100 per cent of the company.
Under the terms of the deal d’Ovidio, who is also chairman of Heritage Group, will become chairman of Abercrombie & Kent Holding, while Kent himself will continue as chairman and chief executive of the tour operator.
Heritage Group will own 85 per cent of Abercrombie & Kent, while Kent will own the remaining 15 per cent.
The company was previously majority owned by Chinese firm Zhonghong Holdings Group.
Over the past two decades, d’Ovidio has built Silversea Cruises, created by his father in 1994 with the purchase of two ships (Silver Cloud and Silver Wind), into a leading line.
Royal Caribbean Group recently acquired a 66 per cent stake in Silversea.
However, the Abercrombie & Kent investment by Heritage Group is a separate and unique, led by d’Ovidio, and does not involve Silversea.
Kent and d’Ovidio have known each other for more than twenty years and have also been business partners, having acquired the MV Explorer in 1992.
“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 d’Ovidio.
The closing is expected to be completed later in the year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
Barclays Bank served as financial advisor to Heritage group.
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.”