Inspirations set for pounds 23m float: Some proceeds will be used to buy control of Goldcrest

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The Independent Online
VIC FATAH, who founded the Sunmed holiday company, yesterday announced the flotation of Inspirations, his latest venture in the travel business.

Inspirations, comprising two tour operators, an airline seat broker and a travel agency, will be valued at pounds 23m at the placing price of 100p a share.

The company, which due to its short trading record will be quoted on the USM, will receive pounds 5.2m from the flotation.

Mr Fatah, chief executive, started Inspirations two years ago, having spent a short time in 1990 with Owners Abroad when it bought Redwing - the company he formed by merging Sunmed with British Airways' outbound tour operating business. Owners bought him out of Redwing for pounds 8m.

Some of Inspirations' flotation proceeds will be used to buy full control of Goldcrest, a seat broking business.

Inspirations, which already owns one- third, is paying Goldcrest management pounds 768,000 for their 33 per cent stake. The remainder is being bought from Takis Shacalis, non-executive director of Inspirations, in exchange for an 11 per cent stake in Inspirations.

Mr Shacalis will also receive a pounds 500,000 deferred payment. The higher price for his stake reflects his past financial support for the company.

Part of the remaining flotation proceeds will be used to support its Civil Aviation Authority bond, which will enable it to increase its tour operations. Inspirations sells about 170,000 holidays a year.

Some money will also be used to develop the travel agency business, which has only five outlets. Inspirations intends to buy or start up a minimum of 50 outlets by December next year.

The travel agency business will be managed by AT Mays, the fourth-largest in the UK, with 328 branches. Mays will receive a percentage of the commission generated from holidays sold.

Mr Fatah said the group's vertically integrated make-up would enable it to adjust divisions' pricing policies in line with changing capacity and market conditions.

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