Shoosmiths advises Octopus on 60m (USD) investment in Secret Escapes

Shoosmiths advises Octopus on 60m (USD) investment in Secret Escapes

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Author: Kara Shadbolt

National law firm Shoosmiths has advised Octopus Investments (Octopus) on a 60m (USD) co-investment with Google Ventures, in to luxury online travel brand, Secret Escapes.

Alastair Peet

It is intended that this substantial investment will support the brand in Secret Escapes' expansion in to the US, Asian travel market and build on recent acquisitions, including Travelist.

Secret Escapes offers exclusive rates (up to 70% off) on members-only flash sales for luxury travel and has 14 million members in the UK alone, with over 19 million globally. It now operates in 13 territories having recently opened operations in The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy. The company is backed by Octopus, Index Ventures, Atlas Venture and now Google Ventures.

Shoosmiths corporate partner Alastair Peet advised Octopus on the investment. Corporate solicitor Georgina Gurnhill assisted.

Shoosmiths' Alastair Peet said: 'This is an important investment for Octopus given it is in to a business they have long supported and this large investment of $60m will assist Secret Escapes in the next stage of its development. This is our 56th transaction for Octopus in the last year and we wish them all the best with their new investment.'

Alliott Cole, a member of the Ventures team at Octopus, said: 'It was Secret Escapes' strong commercial opportunity, the size of the potential global market, and the strengths of the founding team which initially attracted us to support the brand during the early stages of the business' development. Since 2011 Secret Escapes has enjoyed a 260% year-on-year revenue growth* and we're excited to see how this brand develops in the future. It's been a pleasure to work with
Shoosmiths on this investment.'

Alex Saint, cofounder and CEO of Secret Escapes, said: 'The cash injection of 60m (USD) will enable Secret Escapes to continue making great strides to replicate the success of our UK business. We forecast to be a global multi-billion turnover business by the end of the decade.'

Shoosmiths' corporate team has advised public and private companies, management teams, investors and debt providers through the business life cycle. Shoosmiths work with businesses from start-up and first round finance through to mergers and acquisitions, MBO and MBI transactions, development funding and on exits, by way of sale, listing or private equity investment.

The national corporate team has been placed second by deal volume in Experian's UK Deal Review and Advisor League Table and have recently won Law Firm of the Year at the M&A Awards 2015.

* Source: Secret Escapes' management accounts based on annual TTV between 2011-2014.