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18 December, 2019 - 09:58 By Tony Quested

Howes Percival acts in acquisition of Broads Tours

Howes Percival has acted for the purchaser in a deal that sees a much-loved Norfolk Broads company change hands. 

The Wroxham based company, which trades under the names of Broads Tours and Norfolk Broads Direct, is one of the largest providers of river trips, boating holidays and boat hire on the Norfolk Broads. 

The business has been run very successfully over the last 17 seasons by Paul and Barbara Greasley, who have agreed to sell the business back to Len Funnell, through his company Craft Leisure Limited – from whom they bought it 16 years ago.  

Len, who was recently honoured as the inaugural winner of Hoseasons' Outstanding Contribution to UK Tourism Award, and his wife Hazel first acquired Broads Tours almost 40 years ago, along with the Faircraft and Loynes holiday cruiser companies. 

They spent more than 20 years developing and improving every aspect of the businesses, creating one of the premier holiday operations on the Broads, before retiring for the first time in 2003.  

Their daughter, Ruth, and son-in-law James will help run the business going forward. James and Ruth have developed and run Waveney River Centre at Burgh St Peter for the last 16 years, winning numerous awards for sustainable tourism and customer care. 

Howes Percival's Richard Turner (Corporate) and Joanna Nicholls (Commercial Property) advised Craft Leisure Limited.  

Turner said: "It was a real pleasure to act for our client on this transaction and to assist them in the purchase of a very well-respected and successful business."  

In a separate deal Howes Percival acted for Cadman Capital Group, a private equity firm, on two acquisitions for its sports shooting and country wear division. 

The firm worked with The Cadman Capital Group to successfully complete the acquisitions of Coates and Morgan Limited and Barby Sporting Limited and, to secure the long-term real estate interests of the businesses. No terms for the deal are being disclosed.

Coates and Morgan Limited, owners of the Northampton Gun Co. and the Gun Shop Rugby, is a long and well-established retailer of firearms, ammunition and country wear.  

Barby Sporting Limited is the owner and operator of the Barby Sporting Clay Shooting Ground and the Barby Sporting Restaurant, situated south of Rugby, in the West Midlands.   

The Howes Percival team was led by Miles Barnes (corporate) and was supported by Lucy Lord and Aimee Knight (commercial property), Graham Irons (employment) and Rob Starr (regulatory). 

• PHOTOGRAPH: Len Funnell, Hazel Funnell, Barbara Greasley and Paul Greasley

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