Parking platform sold to airport group

ParkVia, the Manchester-based company behind a leading global parking reservation platform, has been acquired by CAVU – part of the Manchester Airports Group.

The deal provides an exit for ParkVia’s investor Mercia, which has backed the company since 2018.

This acquisition is part of CAVU’s strategic plans to become the number one provider of airport products and services worldwide. It will enable it to grow what is already the largest inventory of airport parking worldwide, and further expand its presence in Europe while unlocking new opportunities in ports, rail stations, city centres, and other locations.

Founded in 2008, ParkVia enables travellers to find and book parking spaces at 2,000 locations across the world.

The company, which has a team of 18, won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade in both 2014 and 2019.

Martin Jones, CAVU CEO, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for both ParkVia and CAVU. Our organisations have shared ambitions, culture and values. We’ll be combining our inventory to access new customers through more channels in our core markets, as well as exploring new markets together as we continue to scale our travel marketplace globally.”

Mark Pegler, ParkVia managing director, added: “For over 15 years we have been offering customers a one-stop shop where they can choose the right parking, lounges and other airport services. Mercia was key in helping us transition from being an owner-managed business. During the trials of the pandemic in particular, they reaffirmed their support and helped us get where we are today. Joining forces with CAVU will enable us to double down on our vision and provide us with mutual opportunities to accelerate our growth, creating more value for our passengers and the businesses that serve them.”

Mercia’s investment came from its EV Growth II Fund. The Mercia  team included Wayne Thomas and Alex Hirst.

Thomas said: “We have worked closely with Mark and the management team since the investment, supporting the business through the difficult days of the pandemic, which has helped to ensure that it bounced back quickly. Since then we have continued to introduce new initiatives to bolster trading. This is a perfect example of how Mercia’s private equity model can assist growth and achieve a great result. Becoming part of CAVU and the wider Manchester Airports Group plc is a natural progression for the business and will help establish it as a dominant player in the airport car park booking market.”

Mercia and the shareholders were advised by a North West team from Grant Thornton corporate finance led by partner Peter Terry, supported by Chris Ryan and Alex Parry.  Brabners provided legal advice to the shareholders.

Chris Ryan, associate director at Grant Thornton in the North West, said: “This is an excellent outcome for all parties. ParkVia has recovered strongly from the pandemic and offers CAVU, a great springboard into Europe as it enters a phase of accelerated growth.

“This is the fourth transaction in just five months involving a tech-focused deal in the business services sector, reflecting the strong appetite from both private equity and corporate buyers for scaleable assets delivering increased efficiencies and recurring revenues.”

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