Park Resorts

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Park Resorts Limited
Type Private Limited Company
Industry Holiday / Caravan Parks
Founded 8 March 2001 (2001-03-08)
Founder(s) DF Vaughan, A Castledine, RJ Sewell
Headquarters Hemel Hempstead (administrative head office);
London (group registered office)
Number of locations 41 Caravan Parks in UK
Key people David F. Vaughan
Alan Castledine
Robert J. Sewell (directors)
Products Caravan Parks
Caravan Sales
On site retail services
Revenue Increase£158.8m (2011) [1]
Profit Decrease-£9.6m (2011) [1]
Owner(s) GI Partners Fund II LLP (USA) via Dome Finance Sarl (Luxembourg) (75%),
management (20%),
bank consortium (5%)
Employees 667 (full-time)
1129 (seasonal) [1]
Parent Dome Holdings Ltd
Subsidiaries Park Resorts Transport Ltd
Website www.park-resorts.com

Park Resorts Limited is a UK private limited company which has been owned since 2007 by the US private equity firm, GI Partners, via the UK parent company, Dome Holdings Ltd.

The company is the largest operator of caravan parks in the UK with 41 parks spanning 2,400 acres providing over 21,500 holiday home and tourer pitches.[1] All parks are located at or near to the seaside, chiefly on the south and east coasts of England, but also extending to Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Wight. Income is generated from rentals of static holiday caravans and touring pitches, caravan and holiday home sales, and on site retail activities.

Park Resorts currently employs 1,796 people (of which 1,129 are seasonal)[1] including the support team at their administrative office in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. Entertainment across the company is managed in house and the entertainments team members are known as 'Teamstars'. The Teamstars organize games and activities for the younger children, as well as being joined on stage by the "Krew Club" which includes "Sparky Rabbit", his best friend "Sparkle" and the antagonistic "Naarky". Park Resorts currently has over 12,000 caravan or holiday home owners and over 760,000 rental guests a year.

History[edit]

Park Resorts was created in March 2001 when CBPE (Close Brothers Private Equity), in partnership with a management buy-out team of three led by David Vaughan, decided to purchase twelve Haven freehold caravan parks from Bourne Leisure Ltd. The deal was finalised in May 2001 at a reported cost of £46m.[2]

In December 2004 Park Resorts was sold to ABN AMRO Capital for £165 million, and its activities were merged with the GB Holiday Parks business (itself bought by ABN Amro for £105m just one month previously) to form the second-largest caravan park operator. The name 'Park Resorts' was retained as the company name and brand title. CBPE continued to hold a residual investment representing a 9% stake in the enlarged group. The management team led by Mr Vaughan was retained and held a 23% stake.[3]

In March 2007, the business was acquired in a highly-leveraged buy-out backed by GI Partners for £440m. Whilst this was financially very beneficial to the three founders and ABN Amro it was reported that this deal left the ongoing business with close to £350m debt.[4] Six months later the three founding directors left to be replaced by a team headed by Martin Grant from Roadchef. Under Grant's leadership a further three sites were acquired and a number of the older GB Holiday Parks sites were upgraded.

In April 2008, GI injected £15m capital into the Parks Resorts business.[5] In December 2008, in increasingly difficult trading conditions, GI ousted the Grant management team and reinstated the original three directors, with David Vaughan resuming as chief executive.[6] Since then the financial position was reported to have begun to improve.[7]

During the 2009 season Andy Edge, the Marketing Director at Park Resorts, went 'undercover' at Breydon Water, Great Yarmouth and Lower Hyde, Isle of Wight as part of the Channel 4 television series The Undercover Boss.[8] In an interview after the show Mr Edge told how the show has generated a very positive response from both customers and staff.

In September 2009, Martin Grant, the former chief executive and his colleagues Colin Bramhall and Richard Hunt, won a case of unfair dismissal against GI Partners on the grounds of a "flagrant breach of dismissal procedures" and were awarded £45,000 in compensation.[9]

In October 2009 a restructuring of the group's £325m debt facilities was agreed with the main creditor banks which also included a new £25m senior debt facility to allow a five year investment programme to proceed.[10]

Two further parks were brought under the operation and branding of the group as from the 2010 season, the Bryanston Kenmore sites at Southview, Skegness and at Manor Park, Hunstanton, bringing the total to 39.

The director's report for the year ended 31 March 2011 details a 6% increase in turnover for the year to £158.8m and an operating loss of £9.6m but forecasts the company should return to profit in future years. In the meantime the company is dependant on the parent, Dome Holdings Ltd, to keep it a going concern.[1]

As from the start of 2011 the company introduced the strapline, Creating Amazing Memories, to appear below the logo of Park Resorts on all publicity material, letterheads and signages. During the week of 9 May 2011, the ITV1 programme This Morning featured Park Resorts to show "the real caravan experience to viewers". This also marked the 10th anniversary of the company.

On 16 October 2011 Park Resorts was ranked 244 (2010 = 215) in the annual Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 250 league table based on Britain's biggest mid-market private companies by latest sales.[11]

On 5 February 2012 Park Resorts was ranked 48 in The Sunday Times Deloitte Buyout Track 100 league table based on Britain's mid-market private-equity-backed companies with the fastest-growing profits over the last two years.[12] (note: profits used by Fast Track for this ranking are based on the parent, Dome Holdings Ltd)

Holiday Parks[edit]

Park Resorts offer holiday accommodation, holiday or seasonal touring pitches or holiday home ownership. Static caravans for holiday let and ownership are available at all 39 Parks. Touring and/or camping pitches are available at 24 of the Parks. Chalets and holiday lodges are also available for hire and to buy at selected Parks. Most Parks are open from around 21 March to 31 October, and slightly longer for their owners. The following sites are currently operated,[13]

Devon

Isle of Wight

Kent & Sussex

Essex

East Anglia & Lincolnshire

Yorkshire

North East England

Scotland

Wales

  • South Lakelands
  • Lanchester
  • Regent


( ‡ denotes parks not offering camping and/or touring facilities)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Park Resorts Ltd, Directors' Report and Financial Statements, 31 March 2011
  2. ^ Daily Telegraph, 14 May 2001
  3. ^ Daily Telegraph, 24 December 2004
  4. ^ Sunday Times, 2 November 2008
  5. ^ Daily Telegraph, 20 April 2008
  6. ^ Daily Telegraph, 18 December 2008
  7. ^ AltAssets, 7 October 2009
  8. ^ http://blog.managers.org.uk/post/Undercover-at-Park-Resorts-0913.aspx
  9. ^ The Times, 8 September 2009
  10. ^ Daily Telegraph, 7 October 2009
  11. ^ The Sunday Times, Top Track 250 supplement. 16 October 2011. 
  12. ^ The Sunday Times, Buyout Track 100 supplement. 5 February 2012. 
  13. ^ Park Resorts, 2011 holiday brochure

External links[edit]