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Inflexion Invests in Griffin Global Group

Inflexion Private Equity, the mid-market private equity investor, today announces that it has invested in Griffin Global Group, the specialist travel business.

Headquartered in London, Griffin is the global market leader in the provision of specialist travel services to the marine, offshore and cruise industries, arranging travel for crews rotating onto merchant ships, to oil and gas hubs and to cruise ships. The business was founded in 1977 and has since expanded to deliver over £300m p.a. of travel services from 31 strategically located offices.

Griffin’s customers rely on it to get their crews to their destinations, on time, worldwide. These crew members are often involved in high-value applications, where being a day late would disrupt voyage schedules or obligatory crew rotations with major cost implications. Griffin’s global resources and experience at manoeuvring large multi-national crews at short notice, with complex routing and visa requirements, have resulted in long term customer relationships and strong market share growth.

Griffin provides a completely outsourced service, enabling clients to eliminate the fixed cost of an in-house travel desk, whilst delivering a much more sophisticated offering. Its position as the largest global provider enables it to offer the best possible fares to its customers and often find availability that others cannot, particularly to some of the more far-flung locations that are important to its oil and gas and marine customers.

The investment is partly structured to allow the buyout of the estate of a deceased founder investor and partly to realign the equity interests of the ongoing management team. Inflexion’s strong track record of helping expand international businesses made it an attractive partner for the management as they seek to move onto the next stage of growth.

As part of the transaction, Dick Porter, former CEO of STA Travel will join Griffin as non-executive Chairman.

John Hartz, Managing Partner of Inflexion Private Equity said: “Griffin is an excellent example of the type of business that Inflexion seeks to invest in: a leader in a niche market which delivers a vital service to its customers, resulting in high barriers to entry and a strong record of expansion. We look forward to working with the management team to optimise the numerous growth opportunities they have created.”

George Boyes, CEO of Griffin said: “Inflexion has strong expertise in all of the sectors that are relevant to Griffin and has shown its ability to expand international businesses. We have enjoyed working with the team during the deal process and look forward to their involvement in the next stage of Griffin’s growth story.”

John HartzChristian HamiltonGareth Healy and Andrew Leek led the transaction on behalf of Inflexion and Christian Hamilton and Gareth Healy will join Griffin’s board. PWC provided corporate finance advice to Griffin and KPMG advised Inflexion.