Dow Schofield Watts’ corporate finance team in Yorkshire & the North East has advised on the sale of The Explorer Group Limited, a leading UK manufacturer of motorhomes and caravans, to the German company Erwin Hymer Group AG & Co. KG.

Based in Consett, near Newcastle, The Explorer Group is home to the Buccaneer, Compass, Elddis, and Xplore brands. With a motorhome market share of 11% and a touring caravan market share of 17%, it is one of the three leading manufacturers in the UK. Turnover in 2015 was c.£86 million and the business has continued to grow strongly in 2016 and into 2017.

Founded in the mid-1960s, the company has 400 employees. It was previously owned by Constantine Group plc, a fourth-generation family business which acquired it in 1994 and has supported it successfully for 23 years.

The Erwin Hymer Group is Europe’s largest manufacturer of motorhomes and caravans with a turnover of more than 1.9 billion euros. Martin Brandt, CEO, said: “By acquiring The Explorer Group, we are strengthening our involvement in the UK. As the leading European manufacturer, we see strategic opportunities in the second largest European caravanning market.”

Rob Quine, Managing Director of The Explorer Group, said: “It is fantastic that a successful organisation like the Erwin Hymer Group is investing in our future. As a new member of the Erwin Hymer Group, we will have access to unique know-how and expertise. We will exploit this strategic opportunity to create permanent added value for our customers.”

The Dow Schofield Watts Corporate Finance team that advised Constantine on the strategic sale comprised Roger Esler, Paul Herriott and Matt Thompson.
Roger Esler commented: “The Explorer Group has made great strides in recent years, doubling turnover since 2012 and capturing market share through design innovation and product excellence. The strategic acquisition by the Erwin Hymer Group is another significant step in The Explorer Group’s long history and will bring new investment and complementary expertise which will be fantastic both for the business and the region.”