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TAG sold to private equity firm ECI Partners



UK-based travel management company TAG has been sold by Apiary Capital to fellow private equity specialist ECI Partners.

TAG, formerly known as The Appointment Group, was acquired by Apiary in 2018. According to a statement, Apiary will exit its six-year ownership of TAG with a fourfold return on its original investment. Other financial terms of the sale to ECI Partners were not disclosed. 

The London-headquartered TMC said it was “poised for further expansion” with its new backing from ECI, which formerly owned fellow TMC Reed & Mackay between 2011 and 2016.

TAG, which specialises in the entertainment and corporate sectors, was ranked as the ninth largest TMC in the UK last year with gross sales of £300 million. It was also the 16th largest TMC in Europe. 

The TMC has also been acquiring new businesses in recent months, including Travel Stars and Atlantis in the US earlier this year, as well as Australian conference and incentive specialist CCM Travel in autumn 2023.

Jens Penny, TAG’s CEO, hailed the new investment by ECI Partners as a “milestone in our evolution”.

“With our entertainment and corporate clientele and the incredible TAG team, we are very confident that this partnership will deliver a host of new benefits and opportunities as we’re poised to elevate our standards even further,” said Penny.

TAG, which was set up in 1988, currently employs 450 people around the world and offers “high end” services to the music, film and TV production sectors, as well as corporate clients. The company also has offices in Manchester, New York, Atlanta, Nashville, Los Angeles, Australia and Singapore.

George Moss, partner at ECI, added: “We are excited to be partnering with TAG and leveraging ECI’s experience of investing in the travel industry to propel this global leader to new heights in the global entertainment and corporate travel markets. 

“We are looking forward to working with the management team to continue innovating TAG’s service model, investing in technology and supporting the next stage of growth in its global footprint.” 

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