In a highly competitive market, businesses that stand still and fail to innovate are certain to get left behind. When LateRooms took on investment from ECI Partners in 2004, the business was growing rapidly but faced stiff competition and needed to professionalise.
ECI’s support enabled the business to do this. During the investment period, the board was strengthened, IT systems and the website relaunched, and international expansion achieved. At exit, a stellar return for investors was achieved, and the business moved to the next stage of its growth under the stewardship of First Choice Holidays.
I would like to thank ECI for supporting the business and the team. We have greatly enjoyed working with ECI, whose vision has supported us from day one.
Chris Allen CEO and Co-founder, LateRooms
What did the business need?
- Professionalisation after rapid early growth
- Build management structure
- International expansion
- Growth of hotel coverage
How did private equity backing create lasting value?
- Appointment of new finance and commercial director
- Expansion of number of hotels covered from 8,000 to close to 13,000
- Significant capital expenditure on back office management and marketing
- International growth in Spain, France and Italy, as well as in UK stronghold
- Relaunch of website and rebuild of IT system
What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?
- Total ‘room-nights’ more than doubled during investment to 1.3 million
- 9x return to investors including pension funds
- Growth to become second-largest player in market
- Employment growth of 40%