Cox & Kings agrees to buy Holidaybreak

TOUR operator Cox & Kings has agreed to buy the specialist travel group Holidaybreak in an all-cash deal worth £312m.

The Indian-based company is offering 432.1p per share, a premium of 54.2 per cent to the average closing price for the three-months to 22 July.

Cox & Kings, which offers luxury holidays, was founded more than 250 years ago and used to be a service provider to British regiments in India.

It generates around half its overall revenue from its international operations and has been looking at overseas acquisitions to tap the number of Indians travelling abroad and drive future earnings growth.

In a statement to the stock exchange yesterday, Holidaybreak said that major shareholders and directors with a combined stake of 31.8 per cent have so far backed the acquisition.

The deal is expected to be sealed by the end of September.

Shares in Holidaybreak were up 3.8 per cent yesterday, closing at 427p.