Bourne Leisure considers Butlin's sale

Bognor Beach
Empty deckchairs on the beach at Bognor Regis. (mrloz/Getty Images)

Insight Comment
It might seem like a hasty move but Blackstone knows what its doing when it comes to buying and selling. Demand for staycations is sky high and maybe it makes sense to offload one of Bourne Leisure’s brands while there is plenty of interest.

Less than a year after its takeover by Blackstone and Bourne Leisure is already looking into selling off one of its businesses amid a staycation boom.

The company has asked bankers at Rothschild to launch an auction of the holiday camp business Butlin’s, according to Sky News.

Butlin’s has three UK sites: Bognor Regis, Skegness and Minehead. It was founded by Billy Butlin, who opened his first resort in 1936.

Blackstone completed a deal to buy Bourne Leisure, which also includes the Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels brands, earlier this year, valuing the company at around £3 billion.

Any decision to sell off Butlin’s would come at a time of increased interest in the domestic tourism industry. 

US REIT Sun Communities agreed to buy Park Holidays for £950 million earlier this month and Parkdean Resorts may also end up changing hands.

There has been increasing investor appetite in what is known as open-air hospitality.

“Open air concepts have proved to be well-suited to the needs of families and leisure guests both during and following Covid, as they are surrounded by nature, offering intimacy yet located in attractive tourism destinations and with similar amenities to traditional hotel resorts,” Adrien Lanotte, senior analyst at tourism and hospitality consultants MKG Consulting, said recently.

Blackstone declined to comment to Sky News.