Awaze
Awaze has been tipped for a £2 billion sale by private equity firm Platinum Equity [Credit: Awaze]

Awaze touted for $2.1bn sale by Platinum Equity

Europe: Vacation rental and holiday resorts company, Awaze, has reportedly been put up for sale for up to $2.1 billion [£2 billion] by US-based private equity firm Platinum Equity, according to Sky News.

The firm is said to have appointed global banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to oversee a strategic review and potential sale of the group, which it acquired four years ago, within the next 12 months. It could also explore the possibility of a public listing.

Currently serving eight million holidaymakers annually across 36 countries, Awaze rebranded from Wyndham Worldwide in 2019, the year after Platinum Equity bought the group and its subsidiary brands for $1.3 billion.

Awaze now owns brands including Hoseasons, NOVASOL, Cottages.com and James Villa Holidays. Last year, the group completed a spate of acquisitions to grow its inventory across the UK and Europe, such as self-catered holiday cottages company Quality Cottages and sister brand Quality Unearthed, Amberley House and Portscatho Holidays, and Danish business Bornholmtours.

Last June, the group sold around 100 holiday parks under the Landal GreenParks name to Roompot for an undisclosed sum.

Given the current economic context around rising inflation and a surging cost of living crisis, a sale or public listing would represent another endorsement of consumer confidence in the domestic self-catering holiday sector.

Just last week, alternative investment management firm Blackstone announced that it had agreed to sell British seaside resort chain Butlin’s to the co-founders of holiday home ownership company Bourne Leisure in a £300 million transaction. It came just a year and a half after the Harris family sold the Bourne Leisure portfolio to Blackstone for a reported £3 billion.

Meanwhile, US-based real estate investment trust Sun Communities bought UK holiday park operators Park Holidays UK and Park Leisure for £950 million and £182 million respectively, and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners bought a majority stake in Away Resorts for £250 million. Last August, Away Resorts merged with Aria Resorts to create a combined ‘staycation powerhouse’ to further capitalise on the domestic travel boom.

That investor interest undoubtedly remains, although volatile market conditions have made it harder to secure large quantities of debt financing.

Holiday park group Parkdean Resorts, regarded as the largest UK operator of holiday parks, campsites and glamping sites, caravan parks, lodges and cabins, was put up for sale in 2021 by Canadian investment firm Onex Corporation, which purchased the company in 2016 for a fee in the region of £1.35 billion. Despite rumoured interest from Blackstone, a prospective sale fell through two months after a six-month auction came to nothing.

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