Potential buyers are lining up to buy Butlin’s for a whopping price, according to reports. Holiday camps in Minehead, Skegness and Bognor Regis went on sale last year.
All three stations are currently owned by Bourne Leisure. Blackstone, an American private equity firm, bought Bourne Leisure in 2021 but is seeking to offload Butlin’s share of the business. City AM reports that Blackstone is looking to ‘reshape its Bourne leisure parks arm’ as it assesses the future of the business, reports Somerset live.
It is also reported that Bourne Leisure and Blackstone decided that Butlin’s was “sub-scale and therefore not essential to its growth plans”. Sky News reports that Queensgate Investments, a property investor behind a portfolio of five-star hotels in London, would be among the holiday brand contenders. He is said to have joined a trio of rivals in the race to buy Butlin’s from Bourne Leisure.
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According to Sky News, Queensgate is in competition with Bain Capital, Epiris and Asda’s parent company, TDR Capital. The price tag for Butlin’s three sites is thought to be around £600m.
It has been reported that the Butlin chain will require “significant investment” to upgrade its three camps in the future. It is understood that the iconic “skyline” tents at all three stations need to be replaced.
Somerset Live It has been said that current tents “have holes in the roofs” and often leak when it rains. Replacing them would be costly and massively disruptive to business, “which is why the previous owners just left them.”
Billy Butlin started the company in 1936 with the aim of providing inexpensive getaways to Britons. About one million people vacation at a Butlin’s every year to this day. At its height, the company had nine camps in the UK. The camps are known for their famous “Redcoat” guides who help visitors enjoy their stay.