Sykes Holiday Cottages announces acquisition of Pure Cottages Group

UK: Following a fresh round of investment in late 2019, Sykes Holiday Cottage group has announced that it is set to acquire Pure Cottages Group later this year for an undisclosed sum.

This adds the five major groups of Pure’s portfolio to Sykes’ existing collection of regional brands.

A collection of rental agencies backed by Lloyds Bank private equity arm LDC, Pure had tripled its portfolio from 500 to 1500 since 2017, expanding from the Lake District to Cornwall, the Cotswolds and beyond. “On the basis of the firm’s scalable proposition, commitment to customer service and success in a competitive local market, we knew it was well positioned to thrive across the UK,” said LDC director Aziz Ul-Haq following the announcement of the sale.

The backing allowed Pure to pursue a strategy of ambitious acquisition, purchasing rental collections such as Heart of the Lakes, Character Cottages, and John Bray Cornish Holidays, in addition to cleaning business Maid in the Cotswolds. The acquisition brings the total number of properties managed by Sykes to over 19,000 across the UK and Ireland, adding to their existing portfolio of regional brands, including Cornish Cottage Holidays, Helpful Holidays and Menai Holiday.

This continues a year of strong performance for Sykes, with bookings up 26 per cent and profits rising to £68 million and £20 million respectively by 30 September 2019. “With the team at Pure Cottages on board,” said Sykes CEO Graham Donoghue, “we’re able to give our customers greater choice alongside local expertise. By continuing to invest in the business… we’re also supporting the long term success of each holiday let for its owner.”

The acquisition follows investment in New Zealand operator Bachcare, forecasting further development for the company in the year ahead. Sykes’ expansion demonstrates a continuing focus on consolidation and growth in 2020, with the business having drawn in over 1.6 million guests in 2019. With industry giant Vacasa becoming the first property management unicorn in late 2019, Sykes Holiday Cottages’ strategy of acquisitions means it may be soon to follow.