Private equity giant Blackstone has completed the acquisition of Bourne Leisure.

The firm confirmed an agreement to acquire the parent company of Butlin’s, Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels on February 1, with the Harris, Cook and Allen founding families of the business also co-investing and holding a “significant minority” stake.

The value of the deal was not disclosed but was previously reported to have been in the region of £3 billion. Bloomberg later reported that Blackstone Group’s credit unit and Starwood Capital Group would provide £1.8 billion in debt financing for the acquisition.

Blackstone previously invested in Center Parcs and owns Merlin, which has grown to become the world’s second largest operator of visitor attractions and theme parks.

Bourne Leisure employs more than 16,000 staff, hosts 25,000 holiday-home owners, and attracts 4.5 million guests to 56 sites across the UK a year. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it announced a change in strategy to become direct-sell only.

Speaking earlier in the month, Blackstone European head of private equity Lionel Assant said: “We are long-term believers in the UK and are delighted to invest meaningful capital, despite recent uncertainty, to support the recovery of a Covid-impacted industry, and wider local economies.

“We look forward to working in partnership with Bourne Leisure’s founding families, the management team led by Paul Flaum, as well as colleagues from Blackstone Real Estate, to further grow this great company.

“Our strong track record investing in the UK leisure sector will allow us to further enhance the company’s unique, high quality assets across the country, and continue building on its success for guests, holiday-home owners and team members over the last 57 years.”

Blackstone and Bourne Leisure’s previous owners were advised in the acquisition by Kings Park Capital.