Family holiday camp firm Pontin’s has been bought for £46 million by new investment and management firm Ocean Parcs.


Ocean Parcs executive chairman Graham Parr is a former chief executive of Pontin’s. The new owners plan to re-vitalise the leisure brand by capturing the growing market for value and environmentally conscious holidays in the UK.


The business, comprising seven holiday village sites around the UK has been acquired with the assistance of finance from Abbey UK Corporate Banking.


Ocean Parcs was formed by Graham Parr, Ian Smith, Clarke Osborne and John Parr, with a combined experience of the leisure, consumer and property development industries.


Parr has spent more than 25 years in the leisure industry including a number of years as part of the senior management team of Pontin’s. He was also the first chief executive of Arena Leisure, one of the UK’s leading racecourse operators.


He also helped form “Attheraces”, a joint venture with BSkyB and Channel 4 providing live feeds to betting venues. After his successes at Arena, Graham stepped down to concentrate on other business interests, including the successful public to private MBO of Gaming International PLC with Clarke Osborne. He is currently Chairman of Gaming International, a property, leisure and gambling company and is Chairman of Probability PLC, the leading operator of mobile phone gambling services worldwide.


Ocean Parcs chief executive Ian Smith was previously group finance director at clothing retailer Matalan, where he oversaw its stock market flotation in 1998 and helped to guide its phenomenal growth in the period 1990 to 2002.


The Ocean Parcs team will work closely with Pontin’s current management lead by operations director George Edwards, the company said.