Holiday centre operators Park Resorts and Parkdean plan £960m merger

Holiday parks group Park Resorts is to merge with rival operator Parkdean.

Holiday parks group Park Resorts is to merge with rival operator Parkdean. - Credit: Archant

The UK’s biggest holiday park operator is to be created through a £960million merger deal involving Parkdean and Park Resorts.

The two operators are joining forces to form a combined business with 73 sites, including eight in the eastern region, serving 1.8million customers.

They said the merger would combine Parkdean’s strength in the South West and Scotland with Park Resorts, whose sites are mainly on the East Coast and in the North West including the Lake District, to create a UK-wide business.

Parkdean has 24 family holiday parks in woodland, coastal and countryside locations from Newquay in Cornwall to Nairn in the Highlands. They included the Cherry Tree park at Burgh Castle, near Great Yarmouth.

Park Resorts has 49 sites including seven in north-east and mid Essex – Highfield, Martello Beach and Highfield at Clacton-on-Sea, Naze Marine at Walton-on-the-Naze, Weeley Bridge at Weeley, Coopers Beach on Mersea Island and Waterside at St Lawrence, near Maldon.

Its other sites also include Kessingland Beach near Lowestoft and Breydon Water and California Cliffs near Great Yarmouth.

The annual turnover of the two groups combined is £370m, with underlying earnings of around £92m.

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Park Resorts is majority-controlled by private equity group Electra, which first invested in the company in 2012, and whose other investments have included Sheilas’ Wheels insurer esure.

The deal will see a new refinancing for the business which will take Electra’s cash proceeds from the company to £106m, 81% of its original investment cost.

Parkdean is majority-owned by another private equity firm, Alchemy. Both Alchemy and Electra will retain stakes in the new business. The deal is subject to approval by regulators.

Park Resorts chairman Alan Parker said: “The Park Resorts Group and Parkdean Holidays are an outstanding strategic fit.”

The deal comes after Britain’s five Center Parcs resorts, including the Elvdenen Forest site in Suffolk, were bought by Canadian investment firm Brookfield in a deal thought to be worth more than £2.4billion announced earlier this year.