The omnipotent US private equity firm Blackstone has increased its already impressive share of the UK’s leisure offering, with a minority holding in the parent company of both the Butlin’s and Haven Holidays brands.
Bourne Leisure, the parent company overseeing both the Haven Holidays and Butlin’s brands, has sold a meaningful stake of its business to a major Wall Street investment firm.
New York-based private equity specialists the Blackstone Group have entered into an agreement with the Harris, Cook and Allen families – who founded Bourne Leisure – to acquire what has been described as a “significant” minority share of the company, which currently employs over 16,000 team members and boasts 56 sites throughout the UK.
In addition to the Butlin’s and Haven sites, Bourne also consists of the Warner Leisure Hotels brand, which operates 14 hotels in Britain – both in the country and on the coasts.
It’s not the first time the US firm has opted to invest in the British leisure sector: with Blackstone owning Merlin Entertainment, and also having acquired a stake in Centre Parcs.
“We are long-term believers in the UK and are delighted to invest meaningful capital, despite recent uncertainty, to support the recovery of a Covid-impacted industry, and wider local economies,” commented Blackstone’s European head of private equity Lionel Assant. “We look forward to working in partnership with Bourne Leisure’s founding families, the management team led by Paul Flaum, as well as colleagues from Blackstone Real Estate, to further grow this great company. Our strong track record investing in the UK leisure sector will allow us to further enhance the company s unique, high quality assets across the country, and continue building on its success for guests, holiday-home owners and team members over the last 57 years.”
“Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Bourne Leisure, for our guests, our holiday home-owners and our team members,” added Bourne’s CEO Paul Flaum. “We are delighted to be partnering with Blackstone who have demonstrated a real understanding of our business and sector, and we look forward to working together to deliver on our exciting plans for the future.”
“We are also delighted that our founding families will continue to be involved in the business through their significant family minority co-investment,” he continued. “We see compelling opportunities to grow Haven, Butlin’s and Warner Leisure Hotels, as well as benefit from the increasing demand for UK domestic holidays.”