An end to end service for walkers and cyclists as Pennine Events acquires Coast to Coast Packhorse

Successful local tourism business Coast to Coast Packhorse has recently been sold to new owners Pennine Events and is looking forward another busy summer season helping those walking and cycling the coast to coast route with accommodation and logistical support.

The company, located at the half way point of the coast to coast route in Kirkby Stephen, was owned and managed by Simon Jones and Lindsay Jones who acquired the business in 2002.  Over the past 14 years they have built up a business with a reputation for quality and a personal service which is second to none. They now plan to retire and enjoy their own travel plans after looking after those of others for 14 years.

Pennine Events is a successful Lancashire based events company which operates throughout the UK.  They organise and manage festivals, cycling events and other sports events including the high profile Tour de France and Tour of Yorkshire, Liverpool-Chester Liverpool Bike Ride as well as exhibitions, expos, conferences and roadshows.

Under the new ownership, Coast to Coast Packhorse will continue to operate in the same way and provide the same high levels of customer service expected by walkers and cyclists alike. All Coast to Coast employees remain in post and it’s all about ensuring that customers get the very best service possible.

Mark Sandamas, managing Director of Pennine Events comments:

‘Purchasing Coast to Coast packhorse is hugely invigorating for me, bringing with it an exciting challenge. It has a great reputation for quality and is a great fit for us strategically. There are a lot of synergies with our experience and strengths and so we’re looking at maximising those to take every opportunity to build on the reputation for quality further.

With the acquisition completing just before the holiday season started we were straight into  working  with the operational side of the business and ensuring that our customers don’t see any change in the service they’d expect. This has been very important to us – ensuring that continuity of service and quality which has made Coast to Coast Packhorse so successful, is maintained.

We’re also looking at working closely with the team to learn from their knowledge, gaining valuable input into how we can make things even better from our drivers and staff who operate behind the scenes. We’re also working with the staff to expand their skills and help them develop though providing opportunities to get involved in other areas of the business.

Bookings for this season are higher than they have ever been with over 12,000 bed nights booked in for this year.  We’re going to be looking to grow that in the future with more international and domestic tourists while maintaining the reputation for exceptional quality.’

Australia and America are the two biggest sources of international visitors to the coast to coast route as well as Norther Europe.

Armstrong Watson were lead advisors to Simon Jones and Lindsay Jones with legal advice provided by Alex Birtles of Hewitson & Harker.

Richard Rankin, head of Corporate Finance at Armstrong Watson comments:

‘It’s been fantastic for us to act as lead advisers on the sale of Coast to Coast packhorse to Pennine Events. As is usual, no deal runs smoothly and this was no different with hurdles encountered on both sides, However, we recognised enormous synergy between both parties early on in the deal so to achieve this outcome has been extremely satisfying, particularly for our clients Simon and Lindsay Jones.  Who can now enjoy the rewards for all their hard effort over the past 14 years and look forward to some of their own travels.  Mark now takes over a business with an enviable reputation but is already looking forward to building on and enhancing the offering of Coast to Coast Packhorse.’

Charlotte Mills of Farleys Solicitors LLP were the legal advisers to Pennine Events.

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