US private equity giant Blackstone sells Butlin’s back to its former owner in £300m deal
Butlin’s has been bought by its former owner just 19 months after it was snapped up by US private equity giant Blackstone.
The Harris family has bought back the seaside resorts group, which has camps in Skegness, Minehead and Bognor Regis, for £300million.
The deal comes after last year’s sale by the family of Butlin’s parent company Bourne Leisure for £3billion to Blackstone.
The Harris family has bought back Butlin’s seaside resorts, which has camps in Skegness, Minehead and Bognor Regis (pictured), for £300m
Bourne, which was founded by billionaire entrepreneur Peter Harris in the 1960s, also operates the Haven and Warner Leisure holiday businesses, which will remain in Blackstone’s hands.
Butlin’s was founded in 1936 by Billy Butlin. In its heyday, it operated from nine sites across the UK, entertaining a million people each year with glamorous granny contests.
Bourne Leisure bought the business in 2000. Blackstone’s European head of private equity, Lionel Assant, said the investment group will reinvest proceeds from the sale into Bourne.
The deal comes as an economic downturn and the cost of living crisis hit families’ finances, which could drive more people towards Butlin’s.
But the Harris family will not own Butlin’s property assets as they were sold to pension manager Universities Superannuation Scheme for £300million in July.
Private equity groups have been increasingly eager to buy into Britain’s domestic holiday market.
In June of last year, CVC Capital Partners bought Away Resorts for £250million followed by Aria Resorts in August.