DLJ Merchant Banking gets to EAT

Bowmark Capital, a UK lower mid-market private equity firm, has sold UK school travel group EAT (Education and Adventure Travel) in a £100m (US$197m) secondary buyout to DLJ Merchant Banking.

The sale generated a more than four times return and 63% internal rate of return on Bowmark Capital’s original outlay of £18m.

DLJ Merchant Banking, the private equity arm of Credit Suisse, had been expected to win EAT since reports emerged in mid-May. PricewaterhouseCoopers managed the auction, which is understood to have seen one-stop buyout shop European Capital pull out at the last minute.

Bowmark Capital created EAT through the merger of School Travel Group and Kingswood Educational Group in October 2007. STG had been built up through mergers and acquisitions since December 2004, including Equity Travel, Pavilion Tours and Kuoni Student Travel. Kingswood was acquired separately by Bowmark Capital in 2005.