London Defender

The Daily Mirror of the Great Britain

Parkdean Resorts owner hires bankers to cash in on staycation boom

Britain’s biggest holiday park operator is on the verge of being put up for sale as a boom in staycations fuels its owner’s hopes of achieving a bumper price for the company.

Sky News understands that Parkdean Resorts and its Canadian owner, Onex Corporation, have begun working with bankers from Morgan Stanley on a strategic review of the company.

City sources say a sale process is likely to be launched in the coming months, although a refinancing under the current owner remains a possibility.

Onex bought Parkdean in late 2016 for £1.3bn, and has seen its more than 60 parks operating at near-full capacity this year, according to insiders.

The sector as a whole is benefiting from a post-COVID bounceback in sales, prompting a string of corporate takeovers in the sector.

Insiders say that Onex will hope to fetch significantly more than it paid for the business.

On Monday, four bidders – including the Universities Superannuation Scheme, one of Britain’s biggest pension schemes, private equity firm PAI Partners and Starwood Capital, a real estate investor – are expected to table final offers for Park Holidays, another big player in the industry.

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Park Holidays is expected to be valued at about £850m.

Other recent deals in the sector have included CVC Capital Partners buying Away Resorts – the owner of well known holiday parks such as Whitecliff Bay on the Isle of Wight and Sandy Balls in the New Forest – and subsequently combining it with Aria, another operator.

Bourne Leisure, the owner of Butlin’s and Haven, was sold in February to Blackstone, another major buyout firm.

Parkdean declined to comment.