Ski Solutions changes hands in management buyout

Online ski specialist Ski Solutions and sister site ifyouski.com have changed hands in a management buyout.


Ski Solutions managing director Craig Burton and chief operating officer Richard Visick led the takeover from owner Lizzie Norton for an undisclosed sum, backed by Worcester-based investment company GuidingCapital.


Founded in 1985, the London-based winter-sports specialist has been owned by Norton for 20 years. Information and lifestyle site Ifyouski.com was added in late 2007, bought from Lastminute.com.


Burton said: “The business is now financially well positioned to out-grow the market.” He reported sales this year “significantly up” on 2009, with short ski breaks up 35% on last year and tailor-made and luxury sales 31% higher.


Former Virgin Holidays sales director Stewart Baird will join the Ski Solutions board as chairman and co-investor. Baird described the company as “one of the genuine success stories in the winter sports community” and hailed the deal as a vote of confidence in the sector.


“Seeing transactions like this in the current economic climate should go some way to show the travel sector is still buoyant and a source of good investments,” said Baird, a former Abta board member.


GuidingCapital chief executive Ralph Catto said: “The management team at Ski Solutions have built an excellent business with a strong emphasis on customer service and client retention.”

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