New Deal Is Plain Sailing For Giants Of UK Yacht Charter Brokerage
The Irwin Mitchell corporate team has advised Borrow A Boat, the UK’s largest yacht charter broker on an acquisition, adding high-end, luxury charter vessels to the firm’s growing business portfolio.
Led by senior associate, Ben Gale, from the Irwin Mitchell London office, the acquisition of charter brokerage firm, Helm, confirms Borrow A Boat’s place as the largest boat charter marketplace in the country.
Founded in 2016, Borrow a Boat has grown to offer the largest boat charter marketplace worldwide, by offering consumers flexible and affordable boating experiences. The company now lists over 35,000 boats in over 65 countries, covering popular destinations like the Mediterranean, North America, the Caribbean and South East Asia.
Rapid expansion over the last five years has seen Borrow A Boat raise over £3.8 million in capital, from a mixture of crowdfunding, private investors and venture capital investors.
Helm was founded by charter industry experts Peter Harrison and Simon Morgan in 2015 in order to specialise in crewed charters and catamarans. This deal now brings Helm’s luxury vessels and catamarans to Borrow a Boat, together with Peter and Simon’s extensive yachting knowledge, and a loyal and growing customer base.
Expert Opinion“We have witnessed Borrow A Boat deliver impressive growth over the last few years and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to advise the company again; this time on a deal that will see both Borrow A Boat and Helm join forces and undoubtedly prosper in the years ahead.
There is enormous growth potential in the yacht charter sector and it’s great to see two successful businesses continuing to expand in what has been a difficult year for much of the UK economy. We wish them the very best with the next chapter of the combined business’s future” Ben Gale - Senior Associate Solicitor
Matt Ovenden, CEO and founder of Borrow A Boat, said: “The acquisition of Helm is an important milestone for Borrow A Boat as we look to build the number one yacht charter platform globally.
The Helm brand is well respected within the industry, and the founders bring a wide breadth of knowledge and expertise to the team, particularly in terms of the high-end market of crewed charters, luxury catamarans and motor yacht charters. We plan to invest in and develop this expertise alongside Borrow A Boat to further grow the platform and reach more customers.”
Peter Harrison, Co-founder of Helm, said: “This is a new chapter for Helm as we team up with Matt and Borrow A Boat to further grow the business. With plenty of synergy between the two brands, we see an impressive future for the combined businesses.
There is massive potential for future growth in the yacht charter market. Our aligned vision of making boating more accessible has contributed to the chemistry of this partnership and we are thrilled to be working together to encourage more people to get out on the water.”
Corporate partner James Paton-Philip, senior associate Ben Gale and trainee solicitor Ben Jones from law firm Irwin Mitchell advised Borrow A Boat on the deal.