ABN AMRO exits Park Resorts

ABN AMRO Capital has sold UK based caravan park operator Park Resorts Group to transatlantic private equity firm GI Partners for £440m (€647.7m). ABN AMRO Capital’s investment in Park Resorts Group has generated a money multiple of 2.4x with an IRR of 47%.

The latest transaction also represents a final exit for Close Brothers Private Equity. CBPE is believed already to have made close to an eight times multiple and an IRR of more than 80% when it sold a stake in Park Resorts to ABN AMRO for £165m in 2004.

Park Resorts is the result of a buy and build process that began in May 2001, when CBPE in conjunction with the current management team of what is now the UK’s largest owner and operator of caravan parks, paid £12.25m for 12 coastal caravan parks from Bourne Leisure.

CBPE acted in partnership with the current management team of David Vaughan (chief executive), Robert Sewell (finance director) and Alan Castledine (operations director). The management team is also co-investing in the latest transaction for a significant minority position in the company.

The current Park Resorts Group emerged after GB Holiday Parks was acquired by ABN AMRO Capital in November 2004 for £105m. ABN AMRO Capital then acquired Park Resorts for £165m a month later in order to merge the two operations.

Under ABN AMRO Capital’s ownership the group has also created more than 400 new pitches and benefited from very significant capex investment. As a result, Ebitda has grown by 43% over the life of the investment.

Jonathan Bourn and Dominic Collier co-ordinated the investment and exit on behalf of ABN AMRO Capital and will resign from the board of Park Resorts as a result of the deal.

Bank of Scotland provided the debt for the buyout and will be supporting the growth of the business with acquisition facilities.

GI Partners was advised by Trowers & Hamlins (legal), Deloitte (financial and accounting), BDO Stoy Hayward (tax) and Humberts (property).

Alex Wessendorff