Bourne Leisure

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Bourne Leisure Holdings Limited
IndustryLeisure / Holidays
Founded1964 (1964) (original predecessor company)
FoundersPeter Harris, David Allen, John Cook
Number of locations
38 Caravan Parks
3 Holiday Resorts
13 Leisure Hotels
Area served
Key people
John Dunford
Jane Bentall
Dermot King
ProductsHoliday Parks
Caravan Parks
Caravan Sales
Leisure Hotels
RevenueIncrease£951.4m (group, 2015)[1]
Increase£225.0m (group, 2015)[1]
Increase£151.7m (group, 2015)[1]
OwnerFirst Ovalap Limited (97%)
Number of employees
c.14,000 (group, 2015)[1]
SubsidiariesForay 989 Ltd
> Bourne Leisure Ltd
>> Bourne Holidays Ltd
>> Butlins Skyline Ltd
>> Haven Leisure Ltd
>> Colaingrove Ltd
>>> Bourne Leisure Grp Ltd
>>> Evergreen Finance Ltd
Website, Edit this on Wikidata

Bourne Leisure Holdings Limited is a British private company which owns a number of subsidiary undertakings operating in the leisure and holiday sectors in the United Kingdom including Haven Holidays, Butlins and Warner Leisure Hotels.

Company structure[edit]

The main trading companies in the Bourne Leisure group in the UK are,

Part of Bodelwyddan Castle Hotel, a Warners Leisure Hotel near Rhyl in north Wales

The Guernsey-based fiduciary company, First Ovalap Ltd, jointly owned by the Harris, Cook and Allen families,[citation needed] is the largest shareholder in Bourne Leisure, representing 97% of the issued share capital and holding 43% of shares with voting rights.[2][3]


In 1964 accountant Peter Harris, with business partner David Allen, purchased Alberta caravan park in Whitstable, Kent. A few years after this acquisition John Cook joined with Harris and Allen, and in 1972 the three entrepreneurs floated the company, Leisure Caravan Parks, on the London stock exchange.[4] The company was subsequently acquired by Rank in 1975 for £20m. Meanwhile, Harris, Cook and Allen started over again with a new set of parks which they then expanded in October 2000 by buying The Rank Group’s holiday business. This purchase included the Haven caravan sites, three Butlins holiday camps, Oasis Holiday Village and Warner Leisure Hotels. The deal cost £700m and was part financed by Legal & General Ventures and Candover.[5][6][7] The business was able to buy out these two private equity firms a few years later.[citation needed]

Following this major expansion of the company some sites were subsequently sold as part of a rationalisation of the business. In March 2001 seven parks were sold to Premier Dawn for £15m,[8] and soon afterwards Cinque Ports bought nine parks for £28.7m. In May 2001 twelve Haven sites were sold to Park Resorts Ltd, in a management buy-out in partnership with CBPE for £48m. In September 2001, Center Parcs acquired the Oasis Holiday Village, at Whinfell Forest, Cumbria.

In February 2004 LGV and Candover sold their 28% stake back to management in a deal that valued the firm at more than £1 billion. And in October 2004 Bourne sold a package of five sites to Parkdean Holidays for £42m.[9] In November 2004 the company sold its European operation Haven Europe for £250m (now named Siblu Europe.

In 2015, Bourne Leisure came fourth in the 100 Best Companies to Work For, a list generated in the UK by The Sunday Times newspaper.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Bourne Leisure Holdings Limited, Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2015
  2. ^ Bourne Leisure Holdings Limited, Annual Return AR01(ef), dated 07/07/2012
  3. ^ "VAT refund gives boost to Butlins as owner Bourne Leisure's profits jump by a quarter". This is Money. 26 September 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  4. ^ Goodman, Matthew (11 March 2012). "Happy campers behind Butlins - Goodbye hi-de-hi, hello high life". The Sunday Times (London).
  5. ^ The Times, October 14, 2000
  6. ^ Power, Ben (28 September 2000). "Rank says goodbye to redcoats in £700m sale". London: The Independent, 28 September 2000.
  7. ^ Clark, Andrew (28 September 2000). "Rank takes a gamble on Butlins sale". London: The Guardian, 28 September 2000.
  8. ^ Reece, Damian (25 March 2001). "Bourne to sell £90m of assets". London: The Telegraph, 25 March 2001.
  9. ^ The Sunday Telegraph, December 12, 2004
  10. ^ Best Companies. "2014 Best 100 Not for Profit Companies".