ABN AMRO Capital sells Park Resorts to GI Partners

US and UK-based GI Partners has backed a £440 million secondary buyout of Park Resorts, a UK caravan park operator. The deal has generated a 47 percent internal rate of return for vendor ABN AMRO Capital.

ABN AMRO Capital has sold UK caravan park business Park Resorts to GI Partners for £440 million (€648 million, $867 million). GI Partners is backing the current management team, led by David Vaughan, Robert Sewell and Alan Castledine.


Park Resorts is the UK’s second largest owner of caravan parks, operating 35 parks in coastal locations across the UK. ABN AMRO Capital bought the business in December 2004 for £165 million, before merging it with GB Holiday Parks, and has since been able to increase the firm’s earnings before tax by 43 percent.


The buyout firm stands to make a return of 2.4 times its original investment and an internal rate of return of 47 percent from the exit.


Close Brothers Private Equity created Park Resorts in May 2001, when it bought 12 caravan parks from Bourne Leisure for £46 million. The firm retained a small stake when it sold the business on to ABN, but has realised this stake with the sale to GI Partners.


The realisation is the firm’s third exit this week. The firm has also sold its stake in freight logistics business United Transport International and shipping company V. Ships.


The acquisition is GI Partners’ third UK investment from its second fund, which closed in July 2006 on $1.45 billion (€1.14 billion). The fund is already more than 60 percent invested. The other two UK investments from the fund are care provider Cambian Group and pub retailer Orchid Group.


Founded in 2000, GI Partners is based in California and London and has about $2 billion under management. Close Brothers Private Equity was established in 1984 and has €1 billion under management.


ABN AMRO Capital is the private equity business of Dutch bank ABN AMRO and has €2.6 billion under management. The firm has completed four European deals in 2007, but this is its first exit of the year.