Bourne Leisure returns to owner’s hands

Candover and Legal & General Ventures (LGV) have sold their combined 28% stake in caravan park chain Bourne Leisure for an undisclosed sum. The return on the equity investment represents a multiple in excess of two times.

LGV has been an investor in Bourne Leisure since 1997. In 2000, Candover and LGV supported the management team of Bourne Leisure to acquire the holidays division of Rank in a £70m transaction to create a business with an enterprise value of £1.1bn. Bourne Leisure had a turnover in excess of £670m in the year to 31 December 2003. It is the largest operator of caravan parks in the UK trading under the Haven and British holidays brands. Its operations also include the Warner Hotel chain, three Butlins resorts and Haven Europe.

John Dunford, Bourne Leisure director, said: “The integration of Bourne and Rank’s Holiday division was a tremendous challenge for the management team. The key to its success was the support of our guests and team members together with Candover and LGV. We look forward to continuing our work on the next stage of Bourne’s development and thank Candover and LGV for their support.”

The deal is Candover’s third exit this year following the refinancing of Baxi Group and the secondary buyout of Clondalkin – see exit news this issue.