Parkdean Resorts in talks over £600m refinancing instead of sale
UK: Holiday park group Parkdean Resorts is said to be in talks with bankers over a £600 million refinancing after turning its back on a prospective sale due to the uncertain economic outlook, according to Sky News.
It is reported that the operator has appointed bankers at Barclays and Bank of America to work on a deal before scheduled multi-million pound repayments are due in March 2024 and the year after.
Last summer, Parkdean Resorts’ owners performed a U-turn by opting to abandon an auction that was rumoured to value the business at around £1.5 billion. That was despite the group achieving record financial results in 2021, when many holiday parks saw unprecedented levels of demand from families travelling domestically for staycations due to the Covid-19 pandemic barriers on international travel.
Last March, American alternative asset manager Blackstone was reported to be weighing up a bid for the holiday park group to add to its portfolio. Prior to that, Blackstone had acquired holiday home ownership company Bourne Leisure for somewhere in the region of £3 billion but since then, the firm has agreed to sell British seaside resort chain Butlin’s to the Bourne Leisure co-founders for £300 million.
Sources told Sky that Parkdean Resorts, regarded as the largest UK operator of holiday parks, campsites and glamping sites, caravan parks, lodges and cabins, was in the process of hiring a further 11,000 employees to work across its 66 parks during the peak summer season.
In response to an enquiry from Sky News, a spokesperson for the operator said: “Parkdean Resorts is displaying another year of real momentum with strong bookings for 2023, reflecting our self-catering value proposition which is proving to be very popular with our customers, and we are looking forward to another buoyant UK holiday season.”
The company was acquired by Canadian investment firm Onex Corporation in late 2016 for £1.35 billion.