Holidays-to-insurance company Saga has been sold in a £1.35bn ($2.43bn) management buyout deal backed by private equity firm Charterhouse.
Saga specialises in services for the over-50s
The news comes just a few weeks after the company announced it was planning a share flotation.
The sale will see staff at Saga receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for every year they have worked at the company.
Saga was founded in 1951 as a single hotel in Folkestone, but now has a database of 7.6 million customers.
The firm has expanded from a holiday business into insurance, financial services, magazine publishing and radio.
Saga employs about 2,500 people and earlier this year reported an annual turnover of £382.7m and profits of £81.6m.
"There has been enormous interest in this business from both private equity and public markets," said chairman Roger De Haan.
"It has been a very close-run decision between the two options, but we feel that a management buy-out, supported by Charterhouse, is in the best interests of the shareholders, employees and customers."
Following the buyout, staff will also get the chance to become shareholders in the company.
The Saga management team will remain unchanged following the deal.