Center Parcs
The Center Parcs site at Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire [Credit: Center Parcs]

CVC set to enter bidding to acquire Center Parcs

UK: Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is believed to be entering the bidding to buy holiday village company Center Parcs and its UK & Ireland sites, less than a month after the business was put up for sale by Canadian private equity group Brookfield for a figure between £4 billion and £5 billion.

According to Sky News, CVC, which already owns Away Resorts after a £250 million acquisition two years ago, is set to table a bid through its Strategic Opportunities Fund.

Should CVC formally bid for Center Parcs, it would reportedly face competition from a number of other private equity firms and funds, including Antin Infrastructure Partners.

If the acquisition goes ahead, Brookfield could be set for a potential windfall, eight years after buying the holiday village chain for a reported £2.4 billion from alternative investment management firm Blackstone.

Center Parcs, which operates six holiday villages in the UK and Ireland, including attractions such as forest playgrounds and water parks, attracts more than two million visitors on an annual basis. Together, the five Center Parcs sites in the UK were independently valued at £4.1 billion, and it is believed that the prospective sale would include approximately £2 billion in existing debt.

Its UK resorts include Eleven Forest in Suffolk; Whinfell Forest in Cumbria; Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire and Longleat Forest in Wiltshire; and in Ireland, it owns a site at Longford Forest, near Ballymahon.

The group also operates in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Belgium, albeit under separate ownership.

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