Rotala takes on Wings

Hallmark Connections, a subsidiary of Rotala PLC, bought Wings Luxury Travel Limited, the Wings brand and its entire 17-strong vehicle fleet for 1.5m, on Monday (1 June).

The vehicles are valued at 1.1m and Rotala does not take on any other assets or material liabilities. The Wings brand will be retained.

Former Wings owner and MD Bill Gritt will remain as its GM and have overall responsibility for the business unit; all engineering and support staff will continue in their roles.

The lease on Wings’ current premises expires shortly and due to the lack of suitable alternatives, Mr Gritt decided that to ensure the continuation of the business, the sale was the best solution.

Rotala, quoted on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the Stock Exchange, says that the purchase is expected to generate “about 400,000 of positive goodwill on consolidation.”

In the year ended 30 November 2014, Wings had a 1.9m turnover, and a pre-tax profit, before exceptional items, of 90,000 (4.7% margin).

Wings is a well-established operator of luxury coach services in the London area with an excellent business reputation, says Rotala, using highly-specified vehicles.

These, together with key operating management and about 20 staff, transfer to Rotala’s existing Heathrow Airport depot.

It says: “After the recent end of the company’s long-standing contract with British Airways, there is ample capacity at this depot to absorb the Wings fleet and personnel.”

The acquisition will not have a material impact on earnings in the current financial year. The integration of operations and overheads is expected to have been fully implemented by the end of the year. Following this, the acquisition is “expected to have a beneficial effect on earnings in future years.”

Adds Rotala CEO Simon Dunn: “Rotala has made this acquisition as it sees significant value in the Wings brand and the reputation for excellence that it has gained over the past 40 years. This will add to Hallmark’s presence in the corporate market in London and the South East of England, and will help grow its business in these areas.

“With the backing of a larger organisation, we believe that Wings will be able to access opportunities and flourish in areas which it has been unable to exploit up to now.”