Private equity group Blackstone is in the talks to take over UK holiday resort and conference centre provider Butlin’s owner Bourne Leisure, The Times newspaper, London, has reported. The US-based investor is said to be keen to want to take advantage of the trend in staycations, which is likely in the first instance after the Covid-19 pandemic subsides before international travel resumes.
The newspaper said talks were at an advanced stage, with Bourne Leisure valued at £3bn (US$4.06bn).
Butlin’s, which has three sites across England in Bognor Regis, Skegness, and Minehead, has invested heavily in its conference and event offerings over the last few years and has become a popular destination for event organisers. Overall investment across the sites amounts to £200m.
In 2019, Butlin’s reported that it has seen six consecutive years of growth, with 2018 seeing a 46% increase in enquiries, of which conversion to actual booking led to a rise of 8%.
Blackstone took control of the NEC Group and its portfolio of Birmingham venues in 2018 for a reported sum of £800m.