UK: Barnstaple-based family-owned holiday park business John Fowler Holidays has expanded its portfolio with the purchase of Cardigan Bay Holiday Park in Pembrokeshire with the help of a multimillion-pound finance package from HSBC UK.
The acquisition is John Fowler Holidays’ most recent purchase since buying Llanrhidian Holiday Park on the Gower Peninsula in Swansea in late 2019. The addition is also expected to contribute a further 3,000 holidays for the business and the existing team will be taken on by John Fowler Holidays.
Founded in 1953, John Fowler Holidays now owns 13 holiday parks across Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Wales. With the incoming funding, the company will continue its plans for national growth, and it claims to have already spent “millions of pounds” adding and upgrading lodges, caravans, chalets and new facilities to increase its offering.
Ollie Steer-Fowler, head of development at John Fowler Holidays, told Business Leader: “From humble beginnings with a single caravan in a field in Newquay, we have grown to a portfolio of 13 successful parks spanning the South West and Wales.
“John Fowler Holidays has banked with HSBC for over a decade, and the bank has previously supported us with funding for our lodge developments. Our relationship director at HSBC UK, Paul Lane, has been attentive and helpful, and understood our needs and ambitions from the start,” he added.
James Shepherd, area director for HSBC UK Southwest Corporate Banking, said: “It’s been great to work with John Fowler Holidays on this exciting addition to their portfolio. The boom in staycations since the pandemic began has contributed greatly to their success and, with a total of 48,000 holidays sold in 2021, we look forward to seeing the business flourish in 2022.”
The UK holiday park has been a beneficiary of the domestic staycation boom since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and private equity firms have increasingly sought opportunities to buy up smaller sites and merge them into larger holiday park businesses. This includes global investment business Blackstone, British private equity firm CVC Capital Partners and US real estate investment trust [REIT] Sun Communities among a wealth of firms making an entrance into the highly-fragmented sector.