Trail, the UK’s market-leading work management and checklist app for the hospitality sector, has been acquired by Access Hospitality Group following a full sales process led by FRP’s Corporate Finance team.
The Trail app, which replaces paper to streamline operations and increase productivity and efficiency, will be integrated with existing Access Group solutions including training, HR, EPoS, CRM, reservations and purchasing to become a complete operational hub.
The simple app, launched by co-founders Joe Cripps and Wil Grace in 2014, is already used by thousands of high street chains including Costa, Wagamama and Bill’s, as well as many independent businesses.
The company was approached by a potential buyer in 2021; it then appointed FRP Corporate Finance to undertake a full sales process, including marketing the business both to trade acquirers and potential private equity investors.
Despite the impact of the pandemic which saw negotiations halted for a period during lockdown, our Corporate Finance team – led by Partner James Mines – maintained communications with the original bidder. By the time negotiations were re-launched a second potential buyer was involved, resulting in two parties competing for the business.
The team negotiated a strong offer for the shareholders, agreed heads of terms, and managed all aspects of the deal including due diligence and legal issues through to completion.
Our team was able to secure a strong valuation for the business and efficiently managed the sale to Access Group, a leading provider of business management software and solutions which already has a strong presence in the hospitality sector.
The Trail co-founders have joined Access Hospitality to help integration with existing software products and steer further product development.
Following the completion of the deal, Henry Seddon, Managing Director of Access Hospitality, said: “I’m confident that there’s a great cultural fit between the two companies, as well as experienced talent within the Trail team which will be a great addition to the Access Hospitality family.”
Trail co-founder Joe Cripps added: “Access Hospitality is well known for providing innovative technology solutions for the hospitality and leisure sector. Existing Trail customers will benefit from the company’s extensive experience in accelerating product development, investing in customer success and providing software that gives customers the freedom to focus on guest experiences.”
Selling a business
The team negotiated a strong offer for the shareholders and managed all aspects of the deal through to completion.James Mines Corporate Finance