Inflexion struck a deal to exit UK luxury travel agency Scott Dunn, suggesting that leisure and hospitality in Europe may continue to recover after its pummeling by pandemic restrictions.

Flight Centre Travel Group, an Australian publicly listed travel agency, will acquire Scott Dunn for £121 million (about $149 million) to expand into the US and UK luxury markets.

Europe notched 148 deals worth €17.4 billion in total for restaurants, hotels and leisure companies in 2022, representing declines of 30% and 36%, respectively, from 2021's peak, PitchBook data shows.

PE firms also made a number of notable 2022 exits in the European travel segment, including ICG's sale of accommodations provider Park Holidays UK to Sun Communities for £950 million, Permira's exit of hotel park operator Vacanceselect to PE-backed European Camping Group and GIC's €2.3 billion purchase of Sani Resort in Greece from Oaktree, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and other backers.

Inflexion picked up Scott Dunn in 2014 for £70 million, according to PitchBook data. Inflexion shepherded the business through the COVID-19 pandemic as countries went into lockdown and flights were grounded, also readying Scott Dunn to capture a rebound in the market when restrictions were lifted.

Scott Dunn is Flight Centre's third acquisition in 12 months; it also picked up Australian business travel agency Link Travel Group in May and flight-listings SaaS provider TPConnects in March.

Featured image by Friends Stock/Shutterstock

Related content