Center Parcs said to be poised for £2.5bn float or sale

Center Parcs has declined to comment on a report claiming that the UK holiday centre operator is poised to kick off an estimated £2.5 billion stock market flotation or sale process.

Blackstone, its private equity owner, is understood to be preparing to hold a ‘beauty parade’ of banks to handle an initial public offering, after contacting potential candidates on Monday, the Times reported.

If the company, which is being advised by Rothschild, opts for a flotation, it is expected to appoint banks by the end of next month, with a listing tipped to take place in April or May.

It could seek to raise as much as £750 million through a share sale.

However, the US buyout group  may consider a sale to a private equity firm or a sovereign wealth fund than an IPO to extract more value.

The decision by Blackstone to push the button on an exit follows after a successful first season of trading at its fifth holiday village, the £250 million Center Parcs Woburn Forest.

Center Parcs chief executive Martin Dalby said recently: “Our job was always to get Woburn up and running and prove it could be as successful as our other parks. But the issue of an exit is a question for Blackstone, not for us.”

None of the parties involved would comment, according to the newspaper.

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