Monaco, February 12, 2019
Geoffrey J.W. Kent, Founder, Chairman and CEO of luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent has formed a strategic partnership with Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, Chairman of Heritage group, to jointly acquire 100% of the Abercrombie & Kent Group of Companies S.A. (Abercrombie & Kent). This union brings together two visionaries in luxury travel to further develop Abercrombie & Kent as the premier brand in luxury and experiential travel.
Geoffrey Kent is a true pioneer and visionary in the travel industry. He created the first luxury tented photographic safaris in 1962 in Kenya and has built A&K into the world’s leading luxury and adventure travel company.
Manfredi Lefebvre built Silversea Cruises, created by his father in 1994 with the purchase of two ships, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, into the leading luxury and expedition cruise line. Recently Royal Caribbean Group (RCL) acquired a 66% stake in Silversea Cruises. A&K is a separate and unique investment by Heritage group, led by Manfredi Lefebvre, and does not involve Silversea.
Since their humble beginnings, both companies have grown to become the dominant players in their respective fields, offering a discerning clientele the ultimate in luxury travel.
Geoffrey Kent and Manfredi Lefebvre have known each other for more than twenty years and also been business partners, having acquired the MV Explorer in 1992.
"Abercrombie & Kent is the finest luxury travel company in the world, and I am honored to be able to partner with Geoffrey Kent to help this remarkable company continue its record growth" said Manfredi Lefebvre, Chairman of Heritage group. Kent added: "I am very excited to be working with Manfredi. I cannot think of a better or more experienced partner for the next phase of A&K's growth."
Heritage group will own 85% of Abercrombie & Kent and Geoffrey Kent 15%. Geoffrey Kent will continue to be Chairman and CEO of the operating company, while Manfredi Lefebvre will become Chairman of Abercrombie & Kent Holding.
The closing is expected to be completed later in the year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
Barclays Bank Plc served as financial advisor to Heritage group.
Download high-resolution photos: here.
Chairman, Heritage group
Manfredi Lefebvre is Chairman of Heritage group as well as Executive Chairman of Silversea Cruises. The Lefebvre family conceived Silversea in the early '90s as a pioneering cruise line offering a personal style of ultra-luxury travel, unrivalled in the world. Silversea is now partially owned by Royal Caribbean Limited (RCCL). Mr. Lefebvre is also President of the Monegasque Chamber of Shipping, a Member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council and a Member of the Board of Skuld. He was honoured with the Chevalier de l'Ordre de Saint Charles and Grimaldi by SAS Prince Albert of Monaco.
Founder, Chairman and CEO, Abercrombie & Kent
Geoffrey Kent's life began much as he lives it today – amid excitement and adventure in an exotic location. He was born while his parents, Colonel John and Valerie Kent, were on safari in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). He grew up on the family farm in the Aberdare Highlands of Kenya and attended the then-new Duke of York School in Nairobi, which produced many of Kenya's business and science leaders, including Richard Leakey. With the innate skill of an entrepreneur and the relentless curiosity of a born explorer, he built a company that enables travellers to discover the world around them – and to do it in a uniquely stylish manner. Geoffrey Kent was inducted into the UK’s Travel Hall of Fame and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the US travel industry for creating "experiential travel" by bringing the same sense of adventure found on safari to destinations around the world. He recently published a book, Safari: A Memoir of a Worldwide Travel Pioneer.
Abercrombie & Kent pioneered luxury adventure travel with our first African safaris in 1962, and today A&K's award-winning travel services extend around the globe to more than one hundred countries on all seven continents. A&K has more people in more places than any other travel company with more than 55 on-site offices in over 30 countries.