Cypress buys vacation marketing outfit

The Cypress Group has bolstered its Stone Canyon platform with the acquisition of Vacation Connections. The transaction represents one of the first deals since the departure of Cypress co-head Jamie Singleton.

Stone Canyon Entertainment, a Cypress Group-backed company, has acquired a controlling stake in Vacation Connections. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cypress launched Stone Canyon with Fredric Rosen, the former president and CEO of Ticketmaster. The pair have been working together since October 2004, when they first announced a rollup of three carnival and fair operators, also under Stone Canyon’s umbrella.

Jamie Singleton: The Cypress co-head left the firm just prior to its latest buyout.

The Jordan Edmiston Group advised Stone Canyon on the deal, while Petsky Prunier served as consultant to Vacation Connections. Guggenheim Corporate Funding provided debt financing.
The transaction comes as Cypress has been dealing with a shakeup to its management team. At the start of the month it was reported that co-chairman Jamie Singleton indicated he would leave the firm. The announcement was first reported in the first week of January.

In a prepared statement, Singleton said, “With the firm’s investment portfolio in good shape, I feel very comfortable that it is the right time for me to pursue my next professional challenge.”

Cypress is expected to begin marketing a new fund. The Deal reported last February that firm had arranged a warehousing agreement with Goldman Sachs to acquire and hold onto Cypress-sourced investments until the firm holds a close on its third fund.

A spokeswoman for Cypress declined any comment related to the fundraising.

The firm has struck out on a number of investments, which could account for the delayed fund-launch. In 2001, Cypress saw its portfolio company, an online grocer, sink into bankruptcy, which followed similar fates for Cypress investments Frank’s Nursery & Crafts and Genesis Health Ventures.

The firm, according to a proxy statement, also holds a roughly 25 percent stake in publicly held office equipment distributor Danka Business Systems, a company that in November reported a $44.5 million loss in the second quarter.