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Riviera secures investment from Phoenix Equity Partners

Riviera Travel has secured an investment from Phoenix Equity Partners ("Phoenix"), a UK-based middle-market private equity firm. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. 

Riviera, founded in 1984, will be led by David Clemson who joined the business in 2008 and continues as Managing Director.  Michael Wright, the founder of Riviera, will remain with the business as a non-executive director and as a significant shareholder. 

Headquartered in Burton-upon-Trent, Riviera has grown impressively over the past few years, where it has delivered turnover growth of over 20% per annum. In 2014, Riviera carried over 115,000 passengers. 

Riviera operates in the high growth escorted tour and river cruise segments. Core customers are typically over 50s travellers, attracted by Riviera’s exceptional customer service and value for money. Riviera is the provider of choice for people “passionate about travel”. 

Michael Wright, Founder of Riviera, says: "I am delighted to welcome Phoenix as a new investor in Riviera. Phoenix is very experienced at partnering with founder owned businesses. Together, we shall continue to focus on providing exceptional service for our loyal customers, developing our successful portfolio of tours and river cruises, and creating opportunities in the business for staff at all levels.” 

David Clemson, Managing Director of Riviera, commented: “I am very excited that Phoenix is investing in the business. They have strong experience of the leisure sector and, most importantly, it will be business as usual as we move into the busy booking season in January.” 

David Burns, Managing Partner at Phoenix, added: “Riviera is an exceptional company, with a wonderful culture and very loyal customers.  We are delighted to be partnering with Michael and David, and to be investing to grow the business.” 

Matt Waddell, corporate finance partner at PwC in the Midlands, who led the advice to Riviera's shareholders, commented: "Riviera is an outstanding business with great growth prospects and this investment will allow the brand to continue its significant international expansion. The company is a great example of a Midlands based business which has grown to be consistently the best in its class. Phoenix's investment is testament to this and also demonstrates the growing quality of investment opportunities we are seeing across the Midlands." 

Riviera was advised by PwC Corporate Finance team in the Midlands and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co. 

Phoenix was advised by Duff & Phelps, Travers Smith and EY. 

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