Holiday centre to sell for £300m
CENTER Parcs UK is to be sold for £300 million in a deal which will lead to a stock market listing for the holiday chain, it was reported today.A group of fund managers, led by stockbroker Collins Stewart, is thought to be willing to take control of the business, which is currently owned by private equity firm MidOcean Partners.
CENTER Parcs UK is to be sold for £300 million in a deal which will lead to a stock market listing for the holiday chain, it was reported today.
A group of fund managers, led by stockbroker Collins Stewart, is thought to be willing to take control of the business, which is currently owned by private equity firm MidOcean Partners.
The consortium will take temporary ownership before floating it on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Around 25 institutional investors have already agreed to take shares`.
Center Parcs UK currently consists of four holiday parks in the UK - Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest near Bath, Oasis Whinfell Forest in the Lake District and Sherwood Forest near Nottingham.
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The operation has around 3,100 villas and apartments and had about 1.2 million guests and turnover of around £166 million in the 2001/02 financial year. It employs about 4,000 full and part-time staff.
The reported deal, which could be unveiled this week, mirrors the process that led to the flotation of Northumbrian Water earlier this year. It is seen as a way of enabling institutions to outbid private equity parties.
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MidOcean signalled its intention to offload the business in October after earlier selling its 50% stake in Center Parcs Europe - the operator of holiday parks in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Germany - for £189 million.
The company, formed by the managers of DB Capital Partners, is based in New York and London and manages around £1.8 billion in private equity assets.
The Center Parcs concept dates back to 1968, although it was not until 20 years later that the first park opened in the UK - at Sherwood Forest.
Scottish & Newcastle owned the business from 1989 until 2001, when French holiday group Pierre & Vacances and DB Capital Partners took control.