School trips firm expands in Europe with £31m deal

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The Independent Online

Holidaybreak, the owner of the school trips operator NST, has expanded its list of destinations with a £31m deal for 50 per cent of the Berlin-based tour operator Meininger. Holidaybreak, which also owns summer camps arm PGL and operations in adventure travel, hotel breaks and camping, said Meininger had 10 city-centre sites near cultural locations, including in Cologne, Frankfurt, Vienna, London and Munich. Five more sites are due to open next year.

The British company has the option to buy the rest of Meininger's shares over the next two to three years. Holidaybreak said the acquisition would help it to become the leading brand in the European school trips market, covering Paris, London and Milan.

Yesterday, the company reported a 9 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £30.7m for the year to 30 September, boosted by steady growth from its education division, and new PGL centres at Liddington in Wiltshire and Windmill Hill, near Hailsham, East Sussex.