Smith & Williamson and Thrings experts help family-owned holiday cottage firm sell to market leader

May 28, 2019

The Bristol office of accountancy group Smith & Williamson and regional law firm Thrings have advised the family shareholders of a leading holiday cottage agency on its sale to the UK’s market leader in self-catering breaks in an all-West Country deal.

Dorset Coastal Cottages’ acquisition by The Travel Chapter will widen its reach to new audiences through enhanced marketing. 

From its launch in 1992 as a small family-run business based near Lulworth Cove and with a single property, Dorset Coastal Cottages has grown into a 200-plus property holiday firm focused exclusively on, and close to, the county’s Jurassic Coast.

The Travel Chapter, based in Bideford, North Devon, is the market leader for self-catering holidays, providing a wide choice of high-quality, personally inspected properties across the UK and overseas.

It markets more than 5,000 properties across the UK through its flagship website and other domains having acquired a number of letting firms and specialist accommodation providers over recent years. 

Dorset Coastal Cottages managing director and son of its founders Jeremy Smith said: “Finding the right home for our family business was crucial and the support from the Smith & Williamson team at every stage of the process was outstanding. 

“I am delighted we brought them onboard and I cannot recommend them more highly. They made the very difficult process of selling our family business a much easier one with all of their advice and assistance.”

Smith & Williamson partner Martyn Fraser, pictured, advised Dorset Coastal Cottages’ shareholders on the disposal while 

He said: “This is a real ‘win-win’ transaction that will see Dorset Coastal Cottages thrive as the holiday letting agency market continues to undergo significant consolidation. By joining The Travel Chapter’s growing network of trusted brands its property owners are going to benefit from enhanced marketing reach into new audiences while retaining the local service that they value.”

Legal advice to the shareholders was provided by Simon Hore, a corporate partner in the Swindon head office of regional law firm Thrings, assisted by legal director Charlotte Barrett.

Simon said: “Dorset Coastal Cottages makes a great addition to Travel Chapter’s impressive group of holiday brands. Jeremy and his team deserve great credit for creating a business that helps thousands of people enjoy the pleasures of this beautiful region; it comes as no surprise to see them regularly recommended in the broadsheets.”



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