A family-owned business responsible for sending generations of children on activity and school trips was yesterday sold to its management for £42 million.
PGL Travel, which hosts more than 250,000 children a year at centres in the UK, France, Spain and Austria, has been sold a year after the death of Peter Lawrence, who set up the business in 1957.
The business, based in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire and owned through a family trust, is recognised by all the major activity organisations, including the Royal Yachting Association and the British Canoe Union.
Inspired by his own canoeing adventures on the Danube, Mr Lawrence started the venture with canoe camping trips for groups of teenagers on the River Wye.
Throughout the 1960s and early 70s, PGL was based on canoeing, sailing and pony trekking, as it established a key position in the organised school group market.
Diversification into other markets followed.
Chief executive Martin Davies said he and his fellow directors intended to build on the "firm foundations" of the past 50 years.
He added of the deal: "Peter Lawrence would have been very pleased with the outcome, which keeps the company he developed intact; its culture, values and guidelines unaltered and his loyal staff in post."
The buy-out team, which included finance director Peter Churchus and commercial director John Firth, was advised by Grant Thornton.
Funding was provided by Royal Bank of Scotland.