GCA becomes part of Houlihan Lokey


Transaction Details

November 4, 2019


Consumer / Retail / E-commerce / Leisure, Travel

Deal Type

Mergers and Acquisitions

Deal Value


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GCA Advises Travelopia on the Divestiture of Its North American Experience Education Brands

GCA acted as exclusive financial advisor to Travelopia, one of the world's leading specialty travel groups, on the sale of its North American Experience Education brands (NAEE) to WorldStrides, a provider of educational travel and experiences.

Travelopia provides customers with unique experiences, such as sailing adventures, tailor-made holidays, sports tours, school expeditions, private jet travel and polar expedition cruises. Travelopia has a large, international customer base of over 800,000 travelers each year and serves over 70 destinations globally through over 50 brands. Its NAEE business provides once-in-a-lifetime educational and performance-based tours to students across the United States and Canada.

WorldStrides provides educational travel and experiences to more than 400,000 students a year. Founded in 1967, the company has since grown to become a leader in experiential learning for students of all ages throughout their lifetime learning journey. In addition to domestic and international travel and study abroad programs, WorldStrides’ offerings include performing arts, sports, career exploration, language immersion and service-learning.

The brands sold to WorldStrides include World Class Vacations and Brightspark US, serving the US educational market, and Brightspark Canada, Jumpstreet and Educatours in Canada. Collectively, the brands deliver a full spectrum of out-of-classroom, developmental and educational travel experiences.

The acquisition will enable WorldStrides to expand its broad travel program offerings for music, theater and dance groups and will enhance its teacher-led, curriculum-based tour offerings globally. The brands will continue to operate under separate brand names with discrete programming options.

Andy Duncan, Travelopia CEO, said: “The NAEE brands are excellent businesses with a strong track record of delivering exceptional developmental travel experiences to students, which fits perfectly within the WorldStrides portfolio. Our strategy under KKR ownership is to become the world’s best experiential travel company by focusing on a select number of brands in the Travelopia Group and the sale of these brands is a further step forward towards this ambition. I am delighted for the team as they continue their growth story with WorldStrides. We thank them for their hard work and wish them the best of luck under their new ownership.”

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