A number of private equity firms are vying with Center Parcs to buy Forest Holidays, a UK holiday cabin operator which has been put up for sale by its private equity owners, City A.M. has learned.
Bowmark, the owner of City bar chain Drake & Morgan, and Busaba investor Phoenix Equity Partners are in the running, sources told City A.M.
So are Evans Cycles owner ECI and Caledonia Investments, the firm backed by the wealthy Cayzer family.
Forest Holidays is currently owned by the Forestry Commission and LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group which acquired a stake in 2012.
Its recurring profit before tax hit £7.3m in the year ended March 2017, up from £6.6m the previous year.
A sale to another private equity firm would follow a flurry of activity in the “staycation” market from the asset class over recent months.
Phoenix already owns Bridge Leisure, while buyout house Equistone acquired holiday home group Willerby earlier this year and Epiris and Alchemy Partners sold Parkdean Resorts to Canadian buyer Onex Corporation for £1.35bn last winter.
According to Sky News, which revealed earlier today that Center Parcs was involved in the bidding process, Parkdean Resorts might also make an offer.
Center Parks itself is owned by a Canada-based property investment giant, Brookfield, which bought the business for £2.4bn in 2015 from Blackstone.
All of the firms involved declined to comment.