Deal believed to be worth about £250 million, writes Anthony Pearce.
Home-working network Travel Counsellors has been bought by private equity firm Vitruvian Partners.
The deal, which is believed to be worth about £250 million, sees founder David Speakman sell his remaining interest in the business, which he founded in Bolton in 1994.
Vitruvian has previously backed other travel businesses, such as Skyscanner, JacTravel and OAG.
Travel Counsellors carried out a buy-out in 2014, backed by Equistone Partners Europe and led by CEO Steve Byrne.
Byrne said: “The fact that we have secured a secondary buy-out is testimony to the confidence in the long-term growth prospects and plans for the company. We have carefully chosen the right investment partner with the experience in technology particularly, who also have a deep and natural affinity to our business model and values.
“They will help us realise the many opportunities we have to grow in both the leisure and corporate markets globally and provide the platform for each of our franchisees to accelerate and future proof the growth of their own businesses.”
Speakman said: “Last night, a deal was completed in which we sold our remaining interest in Travel Counsellors.
“We wish Kirsten Hughes, Karen Morris and their staff, both in the UK and overseas, all the very best for the future.
“We thank all our Travel Counsellors past and present who have been on such a great journey with us. We hope that that journey for all existing Travel Counsellors has only just started.”