Parkdean Resorts rumoured for £1.5bn holiday parks sale

UK: Newcastle-based holiday park operator Parkdean Resorts is rumoured to have been put up for sale by its owner for up to £1.5 billion.

According to Sky News, Canadian Onex Corporation [Onex], which acquired Parkdean for £1.35 billion in 2016, is considering selling the operator within the coming months and take advantage of the current booming trend for domestic staycations.

Parkdean Resorts, which was formed out of a merger between Parkdean Holidays and Park Resorts in 2015, operates a range of accommodations for families and groups, including lodges, hotels, static caravans, glamping tents and caravan pitches. The company currently owns 67 locations across the UK, many of which are located in coastal destinations or areas of natural beauty.

Earlier this year, Parkdean announced a significant investment of £70 million across its sites, including £22.5 million to install 700 new caravans and lodges, £13 million to go towards maintenance, and over £12 million into its technology offering.

Furthermore, the firm unveiled ambitious plans to build three new “Parks of the Future” to accelerate its expansion.

With travel restrictions still in place over the summer, many British holidaymakers decided to stay closer to home for their trips away, benefitting companies such as Parkdean, which sold out its accommodations entirely in many of its resorts over the holiday season.

This in turn has triggered a surge in M&A activity in the holiday park sector this year, most notably CVC’s £250 million investment in Away Resorts [which has since merged with Aria Resorts to form a new £600 million ‘staycation powerhouse’], Roompot’s acquisition of Landal GreenParks, and Park Holidays UK’s takeover of Bridge Leisure.

Meanwhile, vacation rental and holiday resorts operator, Awaze, has completed a number of high-profile acquisitions, including Quality Cottages and Quality Unearthed, Amberley House, Portscatho Holidays and Bornholmtours, and Chester-based holiday cottage firm Sykes Holiday Cottages has bought Abersoch Quality Homes and Best of Suffolk to increase its domestic inventory.

In other industry news, Christies Parks, part of the third oldest family business in northeast Scotland, is due to be sold for offers of more than £9 million, and holiday village company Center Parcs announced it had identified a site for a £400 million holiday park in West Sussex.