Domestic holiday parks operator attracts £18.5m investment

Private equity firm LDC has agreed to back a secondary buyout of domestic holiday park operator Away Resorts with an £18.5 million investment.

The cash will support the company’s management team following a buyout from CBPE Capital for an undisclosed sum, which is subject to regulatory approval.

Hertfordshire-based Away Resorts operates holiday parks in Hampshire (Mill Rythe), Lincolnshire (Tattershall Lakes), the Isle of Wight (Whitecliff Bay) and Snowdonia National Park in Wales (Barmouth Bay).

The company was formed in 2008 by managing director Carl Castledine, finance director Neill Ryder and operations director Greg Lashley.

With LDC’s backing, the business will invest in its parks and create additional capacity by developing sites with planning permission.

It also plans to improve facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, spas, bars and restaurants.

The deal was led by LDC’s investment directors Richard Whitwell and Ben Snow, who will join the Away Resorts board. Gary Fletcher also joins the business as non-executive chairman, alongside Mike Smith as non-executive director.

LDC chief executive, Martin Draper, said: “We are delighted to have successfully completed the deal to support Carl and the team in their next phase of growth, building on Away Resort’s success to date.

“We are investing in a unique and well-operated business and a strong management team that has the capabilities to deliver growth through organic expansion and further market consolidation, in what is an attractive and fragmented sector.”

Castledine added: “We understand changing consumer trends, and by introducing contemporary glamping facilities and unique local festivals, we stand out from the traditional British holiday experience.

“LDC has an excellent track record supporting management teams and strong credentials in the leisure sector, and with its financial, operational and strategic support we believe they can make a difference in bringing Away Resorts into a new era.”

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