Land Securities takes control of X-Leisure as PY Gerbeau leaves

UK real estate giant Land Securities yesterday took control of X-Leisure, the owner of venues including the Xscape indoor ski slopes and Brighton Marina, for £111.9m.

The property giant said it had completed the deal, first outlined in December, with Capital and Regional and Area Property Partners to buy a further 42 per cent stake in X-Leisure Unit Trust and also buy outright the company that manages the £580m fund.

X-Leisure staff will remain with the firm under its new ownership, but chief executive Pierre-Yves (PY) Gerbeau, the French entrepreneur credited with turning around the loss-making millennium dome, now the O2, said he would step down “to take on new challenges.”

“I am extremely happy to have such a significant player taking X-Leisure forward and bringing additional credibility and gravitas to the industry,” said PY Gerbeau.

Land Securities has been on a buying spree this year to increase its exposure to the leisure and eating-out sector, which it views as being under less threat from the internet.

It acquired its initial 12 per cent stake in X-Leisure last year and in May the developer snapped up Manchester’s leisure complex the Printworks for £95m as well the Cornerhouse in Nottingham £50m.