Close Brothers buys caravan parks

Bourne Leisure has disposed of 12 freehold caravan parks in a BIMBO worth £46m.

Close Brothers Private Equity is the equity investor facilitating the buyin management buyout of 12 freehold caravan parks from Bourne Leisure, the privately owned UK group.

The deal, which values the new business at £46m, will create the UK's 2nd largest caravan park group operating in a number of coastal locations around the UK. The new company will be trading under the name of Park Resorts Ltd.

The Park Resorts sites, which were part of Bourne's Haven Leisure business, offer between 350 and 650 pitches per site and were acquired by Bourne Leisure in October 2000 as part of their £700m acquisition of Rank Group Plc's holiday division. Bourne has already disposed of a number of the smaller sites acquired as part of that transaction.

CBPE is backing a BIMBO team consisting of David Vaughan (Chief Executive), Robert Sewell (Financial Director) and Alan Castledine (Operations).

Senior debt financing for the transaction has been provided by the Bank of Scotland.

Sean Dinnen, Partner of CBPE, who will join the board of Park Resorts, commented: “This is a landmark deal for CBPE in the leisure and tourism market, one of our main areas of specialisation. The caravan holidays market continues to see good growth and represents a tremendous opportunity since less than 200 of the UK's 3,500 caravan parks are corporately owned. This provides significant scope for consolidation within the industry – a process in which we see Park Resorts playing a leading role.”