HMT were delighted to act as lead advisors and reporting accountants for Bank of Scotland plc and Allied Europe Limited (“Allied”) in Allied’s acquisition of San Diego based PRA Destination Management Inc (“HQ”) and Patti Roscoe and Associated Inc (“Core4”), (collectively “PRA”).
Allied, which is owned by Jim Hensley, is a long established and leading European destination management company (“DMC”), operating in the UK, France, Monaco, Italy and Spain. The main business activities for DMCs are organising product launches, conferences, events, meetings/ incentives, corporate entertainment, celebrations, award shows, exhibitions, and corporate travel. Allied has built a successful business under the Allied Europe brand offering multiple destinations in Europe to its clients, who are blue chip UK, US and Australian companies (many of which are global).
The market is very fragmented, typified by SMEs operating from one location (the key requirement of a DMC being local knowledge). As a result of this, Allied has adopted a buy and build strategy to create a global DMC, which by offering a significant number of destinations will ensure clients stay loyal to the group (clients tend to want to go to different locations each year).
In line with this strategy Allied identified PRA, the leading US DMC, which comprises a franchise operation (“HQ”) and four individual franchises under this (“Core4”). PRA is very similar to Allied, offering quality destination programmes from 18 franchises, of which four in California relate to Core4. PRA was set up by Patti Roscoe, who will be remaining with the business in a consultancy role.
The acquisition creates the largest DMC in the world, and positions the business to take advantage of the scalability of the franchise model in the US and also significant cross selling opportunities.
“Jim has now established Allied as a leading DMC within Europe, and it now has the established platform from which to grow. With PRA being the leading DMC in the US, with an impressive organisation and management team, the enlarged business is extremely well positioned to take advantage of the market opportunities. Indeed this is an exciting base from which to build on the current success of both businesses.”