RJD backs management buyout of Class Tours

27 October 2017

RJD completes management buyout of leading language programme and educational tours provider, Class Tours.

RJD Partners (“RJD”), the UK Private Equity investor, has invested in the management buyout of Class Tours Limited (“Class Tours”), a leading provider of language programmes and educational tours to schools in the UK.

This is the fourth investment from RJD’s third buyout fund, following the investment in Barber of Sheffield, and follows RJD’s successful investment track record in the education and leisure sectors.

Based in Hove, Class Tours is a well-presented provider of language programmes to schools with its Châtaeu de la Baudonnière courses in Normandy perhaps the most well-known. The business also provides other exclusive language programmes in Northern France and Spain as well as impressive portfolio of other tours which carry a strong education emphasis delivered

RJD has taken a majority stake in the business and has invested alongside Class Tours’ management team, led by Nigel English. Nigel has overseen the group’s organic and capex led growth strategy since establishing the business in 2008 with Nick Goddard and Patricia Bryant. Nick is the original developer of the Château de la Baudonnière programme and remains an investor in the business.

RJD will work alongside the ambitious management team to grow the business further organically and to realise their plans to expand their portfolio of exclusive programmes through corporate and property based acquisitions.

The investment in Class Tours builds on RJD’s track record in both the educational market, and the leisure space, following successful investments in businesses such as Education Personnel, Verdant Leisure and European Boating Holidays.

Frank Bulman, Partner, RJD Partners comments: “We believe the business is exceptionally well placed to benefit from the growth in demand for organised overseas tours and language courses within the UK education sector. Our involvement can add both financial firepower and rollout expertise which will help drive accelerated growth. We are delighted to be partnering with Nigel English and the team in pursuit of this.”

The RJD team on this investment comprised Frank Bulman, Richard Caston and Hugo Strachan. Frank Bulman and Richard Caston will be joining the board of Class Tours.


For further information, please contact:

RJD Partners


Frank Bulman / Richard Caston                                                                     020 7050 6868

Notes to editors: RJD Partners specialises in UK private equity investments in platform companies operating within niches in the services and consumer sectors with enterprise values of up to £50 million. RJD Partners has raised funds totalling in excess of £300 million, and is now investing its third fund, RJD Private Equity Fund III. Class Tours is the fourth investment in this current fund, with other investments including Babington, a specialist apprenticeships and skills training provider, and Barber of Sheffield, an eCommerce led provider of branded products to the body art sector. RJD Partners and Newco were advised by a team led by Mark Saunders and Erika Jupe at Osborne Clarke (legal and tax advice) with support from Tim Hewens, Ken Wilkinson and Tian Tang, together with Peter Vandervelde at RSM (financial due diligence) and Ven Balakrishnan at Grant Thornton (commercial due diligence). Class Tours were advised by Mitchell Freinberg and Tom Bayne at Noventus Partners (Corporate Finance) and Tim Smith at Griffith Smith Farrington Webb (legal advice).