Minoan sells 20% of travel agency unit

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Minoan, the Glasgow-based property developer and travel agency, has sold a 20 per cent stake in its travel and leisure business for up to £2 million.

The firm said the mystery investor was backed by “individuals who have a long association with the group”. The investor is subscribing for new shares at an initial cost of £770,000, which could rise to £2m depending on the business’s performance.

News of the investment came as Minoan posted a 60 per cent rise in turnover to £19.8m for the six months to 30 April.Profits at the travel and leisure business – which was set up to provide cash for the group’s property development on Crete and is run by Scots-born industry veteran Duncan Wilson – soared to £117,000 from £10,000 following a series of acquisitions. Group losses widened to £903,000 from £780,000.

Minoan said all its travel and leisure operations were now under the Stewart Travel brand, the Ayrshire-based business acquired in March, 2012. Additions to the network include Essex-based Classic Travel, which has been integrated with the Golf Concierge brand.

Minoan said its long-standing proposals to develop a 1,936-bed hotel complex on Crete would enter the local planning system within the next few weeks.

Chairman Christopher Egleton said: “Following the granting of fast-track status for the project and the dismissal of the subsequent appeals, the board believes we have never been closer to bringing the project to fruition and have had growing and significant interest from investors and hotel operators keen to partner with us.”