Barclays drives away from motor-home business

Barclays Private Equity has sold its majority stake in Auto-Sleepers, a UK motor home maker, to Italian company SEA Group, Europe’s third biggest motor-home manufacturer, for £15m.

Auto-Sleepers was bought by Barclays back in August 2000, when it simultaneously acquired Marquis, a UK motor home dealership, in a £32m MBI.

Appetite for motor-homes is set to take off in the UK according to SEA, which predicts the market will grow by 30% over the next five years. Auto-Sleepers plans include becoming the largest manufacturer and retailer of motor-homes in the country and Continental Europe by 2010.