American private equity firm Blackstone is rumoured to be eyeing UK leisure and holiday company Bourne Leisure. The move would increase the company’s presence in the UK leisure sector, as Blackstone already owns part of theme park specialist Merlin Entertainment, which operates Legoland.
Bourne Leisure is a privately-owned company whose brands include Butlins, which operates three coastal resorts in England, Haven, with 37 caravan holiday parks in England, Scotland and Wales, and hotel company Warner Leisure Hotels, which operates 14 hotels across the UK, exclusively for adults.
According to The Times, Blackstone is in talks to buy a majority stake in Bourne Leisure in a deal that would value the business at £3billion and would see the current owners First Ovalap Ltd, jointly owned by the families of founders Harris, Cook and Allen, retain a significant stake.
Although the UK’s hospitality sector has had a difficult year due to the COVID-19 crisis and associated travel restrictions, the domestic leisure market is expected to lead the recovery. Open air hospitality such as caravan park is also one of the growing trends that has appealed to travellers in search of Covid-safe holidays.