Largo Leisure
Limerston Capital has acquired Largo Leisure [Credit: Largo Leisure]

Limerston Capital buys Largo Leisure to tap into staycation demand

UK: Private equity firm Limerston Capital has announced the acquisition of Fife-based holiday site operator Largo Leisure, joining the growing list of institutional investors seeking to tap into strong demand for staycations in the UK.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed, however it does represent Limerston Capital’s first platform investment from its second fund.

Founded in 2003, Largo Leisure owns self-catering lodge, caravan and glamping holiday sites across four parks located in Letham Feus in Fife, Braidhaugh Park in Perthshire, Sauchope Links near Crail, and Loch Tay in Perthshire.

At the same time, Largo Leisure confirmed that Andrew Howe, the founder and former chief executive of holiday park operator Bridge Leisure [acquired by Park Holidays UK last April], would be taking up the role of executive chairman at the company. Howe will work alongside the current senior team at Largo, including managing director Jonathan Morley, and Limerston Capital,  to identify potential routes for investment, portfolio and site expansion, and brand development.

Howe told The Scotsman: “Largo Leisure has positioned its holiday parks as destination experiences, continually improving its sites to ensure a high end offer and attracting a premium demographic. Our ongoing focus on improving smaller parks will help to set us apart from competitors and is aligned with our wider plans.

“With first-hand knowledge of the sector, I am excited to oversee the strategy of Largo Leisure. We have ambitious and enthusiastic plans and crucial to this is retaining the character of the parks and exploring how we can better meet the needs of customers,” he added.

João Rosa, founding partner at Limerston Capital, said: “The UK domestic holiday market has continued to expand for several reasons, and we expect this to continue as the cost of foreign travel rises and consumers look for options closer to home.

“The key for holiday park owners to build brand loyalty and secure growth is to find a point of differentiation and to consistently deliver. Largo Leisure is an excellent example of this,” he added.

In a press release, Limerston Capital outlined its intentions to make further acquisitions of individual or groups of smaller holiday parks across the UK, following in the footsteps of other institutional investors making waves in the space.

US-based real investment trust [REIT] Sun Communities has acquired Park Holidays UK for £950 million and agreed to purchase Park Leisure in a £182 million deal

In recent times, the likes of Blackstone, PAI Partners, CVC Capital Partners and KKR have entered the holiday park sector by purchasing Bourne Leisure, European Camping Group, Away Resorts and Roompot respectively. Meanwhile, Newcastle-based holiday park operator Parkdean Resorts is rumoured to be attracting interest from Apollo Global Management for a potential £2 billion takeover, and seaside resort chain Butlin’s is also up for sale.

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