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Company Announcement

Acquisition of Arena Tours Limited

Arena Travel has entered administration and all Arena brands have been acquired by Leger Shearings Group with Holidays to proceed as planned.

If you have questions about the acquisition of Arena Tours Limited, please see the link below: https://www.leger.co.uk/arena-faqs

A message from Arena Travel Chairman, Declan Treanor

(24th September 2022)

To our loyal customers, partners and all associated with Arena Travel

It is with much regret, and great sadness, that I announce that after a relentless battle to revive the fortunes of the company post-pandemic, that Arena Tours Ltd has entered into administration.

All of our clients’ monies are financially protected and we are pleased to have reached an outcome that enables our holidays to still take place and for the Arena brands to survive and prosper again under the new ownership of Leger Shearings Group.

Having been established for over 40 years, and in the current ownership for 10 years, myself and fellow directors and shareholders are extremely proud of the company and our team’s achievements. Building our Bridge, Fan Events and Craft Holiday programmes to be leaders in their fields, our acquisition of the River Cruise and Rail Tours business in 2017, the operation of our Remembrance tours for Veterans culminating in the D-Day 75 Voyage to Normandy, and the pre-pandemic acquisitions of Art Pursuits and Boxwood Garden Tours to create our Cultural Tours division.

As the Covid pandemic eased coming in to the New Year we were, as were many, optimistic that 2022 would see an enthusiastic return to travel. That however was not the case with a catalogue of challenges hitting our industry since the invasion of Ukraine, with port, airport and airline disruptions, to name but a few, affecting travellers’ willingness to travel and book holidays. More recently the withdrawal of one of our river cruise ships to home refugees along with the impact of low waters on sailings, has been the final straw for the company with large refunds claimed. I reiterate that all customers’ monies are protected through our ATOL for flight inclusive holidays, our Financial Failure Insurance for non-air holidays and in all cases for payments made by credit card.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all customers of Arena over the years and it has been our pleasure providing our holidays on which we have personally met many of you.

Yours sincerely

Declan Treanor

Chairman

An introduction to the Leger Shearings Group

The Leger Shearings Group is the UK’s largest coach tour operator and currently comprises of four different established brands: Leger Holidays, Battlefield Tours by Leger Holidays, Shearings and Holts Tours. Across our varied brands, we provide a wide product offering covering UK, European, worldwide and specialist interest tours, as well as river cruises and rail experiences. We will carry over 130,000 passengers this year and have 40 years’ experience in planning escorted tours, so you can rest assured knowing that we are experts in what we do.

For more information, please see below for the official press release

Official press release statement

LEGER SHEARINGS GROUP RESCUES ARENA TRAVEL BRAND staff retain jobs & holidays are still going ahead

Leger Shearings Group (LSG) has announced an administration deal, which will see the escorted tours company, acquire the Arena Travel brand and assets. Arena Travel went into administration on Friday 23rd September with a simultaneous transition to the new ownership. The agreement will see LSG acquire the special interest and touring travel company’s database, web domains and social media pages, covering all divisions and sub-brands of Arena Travel.

As part of the agreement all fifty permanent employees will retain their jobs under the TUPE protection of employees’ rights regulations. All bookings were financially protected and LSG are enabling customers to continue with their holidays as planned, so customers won’t lose out. The three Arena Travel offices in Market Harborough, Buckingham and Nacton, Suffolk will be taken over by LSG. Arena Travel, which has been in business for over 45 years, is well known for its river cruise holiday and specialist niche escorted holidays, including rail and bridge holidays. Craft holidays are operated under the Stitchtopia brand and cultural and garden tours under the Boxwood and Art Pursuits brands. The company also has a music and events division with Elvis, Memphis and Germany Tours and operates unique events in partnership with the band Queen’s fan club.

Leger Shearings Group CEO Liam Race said: “I am very pleased that the Leger Shearings Group was able to acquire the Arena assets and importantly, protect jobs during these challenging times. We are offering all customers the ability to take the same holiday that they had booked with Arena Travel. “The companies share some similar products, including an excellent UK tours selection and river cruise holidays, but Arena’s very specialist holidays will add a new high-end dimension to our current portfolio.”

Arena Travel’s managing director Steve Goodenough, will remain in position and he said: “Arena Travel is long established and prior to the pandemic was very successful, but it came out of covid battered and bruised. Our plan was to have a year of recovery, however, travel disruption hit every aspect of industry, from port delays, to flight and baggage disruption, to low water in Europe’s rivers and it took its toll and the business became untenable. I am delighted to be working with the Leger Shearing Group to rebuild the business, with the backing and security of a much larger company, which shares Arena Travel’s value of good quality service. I am especially pleased that the holidays our customers have booked will still take place, without interruption or financial penalty.”

In June 2020 Leger Holidays acquired the assets of former competitor Shearings after parent company Specialist Leisure Group went into administration. The Leger Shearings Group was established in January 2021.

About Leger Holidays & Shearings

Founded in 1983 and based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, Leger Holidays is the UK’s leading provider of fully escorted coach holidays to Europe. The company also produces a range of themed holidays including Battlefield Tours, Christmas Markets & Festive Breaks, Single Traveller, Luxuria and Rail Experiences.

In June 2020 Leger Holidays acquired the iconic Shearings brand, a company famous for its fully escorted coach holidays to exciting destinations across the UK and Europe.

The Leger Shearings Group was established in January 2021.

24 September, 2022