Case study

Neilson Active Holidays: Active support for travel business

Secondary buyout supporting award-winning holiday company as its management team looks to expand.

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  • Travel & leisure

Neilson Active Holidays is the UK's leading provider of overseas active holidays.

Employees: 750

Deal type
  • Secondary buyout

Neilson offers a range of award-winning overseas active holidays across seven European countries. Its 80,000 annual guests can stay in a variety of locations, including beach clubs, ski chalets and a choice of Neilson’s 65 yachts.

Demand-driven expansion

To support its organic expansion strategy, the management team partnered with LDC in August 2018 and secured the firms support for a secondary buyout.

As the business continues to capitalise on the increasing demand for activity and wellness holidays at the premium end of the market, the management team is using LDC’s investment and support to open new hotels and extend the range of countries it operates in. This will also include targeting strategic acquisitions in the future.

LDC has a successful track record in the travel industry, but most importantly the investment team bought into our vision and growth strategy completely. This is critically important as we embark on the next phase of our journey.”
David Taylor, CEO
Neilson Active Holidays

Leading with experience

The business is led by CEO David Taylor, formerly of TUI, and Chairman Richard Bowden-Doyle, the former Managing Director of Thomson Holidays and, and more recently Non-Executive Director of Saga Travel Group.

David and Richard both joined Neilson in 2013, and under their management Neilson has become the UK’s leading overseas activity holiday specialist. With revenues of more than £80m for the financial year ending November 2018, it is a profitable business primed for further growth.

Gold-standard holidays

In November 2018 Neilson was voted gold for both the UK’s Best Activity and Sports Holiday Company and the Best Ski and Winter Sports Holiday Company at the illustrious 2018 British Travel Awards. It was Neilson’s fifth consecutive gold for the Best Activity and Sports Holiday Company.

The British Travel Awards are the largest and most influential poll of consumer opinion on the performance of enterprises operating in the leisure travel and visitor attractions sector.


Best Activity and Sports Holiday Company

2018 British Travel Awards

Best Ski and Winter Sports Holiday Company

2018 British Travel Awards