Apollo Tourism expands into Europe with UK acquisition

Apollo Tourism expands into Europe with UK acquisition

Listed motorhome group Apollo Tourism & Leisure (ASX: ATL) has acquired Camperco Group Ltd, one of the largest RV businesses in the United Kingdom.

The acquisition of Camperco, formerly known as Bunk Campers, cost approximately $8.2 million in cash and ATL shares, with the purchase expected to be earnings accretive in FY19.

"We've known about the Bunk Campers business for a number of years. We've always respected their product, their brand and what they've done in the market," says Apollo's managing director and CEO Luke Trouchet (pictured).

"We started exploring quite heavily into the market and we spoke to quite a few people in the industry and felt that Bunk was the right fit it was well respected."

In addition to the $8.2 million consideration, a performance incentive of $1.8 million per year, payable in 50 per cent cash and 50 per cent scrip, for both the 2018 and 2019 calendar years, is contingent upon achievement of projected 2018 and 2019 earnings.

Camperco's founders and current managers, husband and wife team Keith Charlton and Louise Corken will continue to lead the business following the acquisition.

Camperco, formerly known as Bunk Campers, was established in 2007 and is recognised as one of the largest motorhome rental operators in the UK, with calendar year 2017 revenue of over £3 million and a planned fleet of more than 200 RVs.

"Just like we did, they started with one campervan in the backyard and built their brand from that along with a network all over the UK and Ireland and they've grown their fleet," says Trouchet.

"They were looking to expand and take their business to the next level and that's when we thought we should work together and so we can give their capital to expand and we can tap into our travel distribution network and provide our IT. 

"And they're there locally and managing the business and making it all happen."

The group has outlets around the UK and the acquisition now give Apollo a base for European expansion. "The countries we have potentially targetted include Portugal, Italy, Germany and France. These are the logical next steps for us to take," says Trouchet.

"This is where there are big inbound tourist numbers and good quality tourst parks as well.

"Even Iceland is on the radar. it's a short season but there's a lot of motorhomes on the road when there is."

The group recently rebranded as the Camperco Group to reflect its growing activities in RV sales through its own retail centres, campervan conversion and ecommerce RV accessories sales.

The acquisition includes tangible assets (the rental fleet) worth approximately $9 million, goodwill worth $6.8 million and liabilities of approximately $7.6 million.

READ: Apollo's Luke Trouchet on building an international business 'one step at a time'

The company says the acquisition supports the group's goals to become a global RV business and allows the business to capitalise on the forecast growth in the UK and European tourism market.

The Camperco acquisition follows a string of acquisitions made by Apollo since the company listed on the ASX in November 2016.

These acquisitions include Sydney RV Group in February 2017, a 25 per cent stake in Camplify in February 2017, Kratzmann Caravans and Clint's Caravan Warehouse in May 2017, CanaDream in July 2017, and George Day Caravans in August 2017.

The company recently posted a $16 million first-half profit, more than quadrupling its result from the prior corresponding period.

Shares in Apollo are up 2.65 per cent to $1.55 per share at 11.52am AEDT.

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