Select Page

May 4, 2016

Cayzers’ Caledonia Hires PwC to Sell British RV Camps Operator Park Holidays

Private equity firm Caledonia Investments plc (LSE: CLDN) has put RV caravan park operator Park Holidays up for sale, at an expected valuation in excess of £250 million. In 2013, Caledonia acquired Park Holidays for £172 million. Caledonia has reportedly hired PwC as its financial advisor in connection with the sale process. The move comes after the September 2015 merger of private equity firm Electra’s Park Resorts with Parkdean Holidays, owned by rival private equity firm Alchemy Partners, which created a £1bn company that became Britain’s biggest holiday home park operator, with 73 sites across the country. In a separate recent deal, Caledonia acquired Gala Bingo, the UK market leading retail bingo operation, from Gala Coral, for £241 million. Park Holidays has performed well since Caledonia’s acquisition in November 2013. In January 2016, Caledonia completed a refinance of Park Holidays, the UK’s third largest caravan holiday park operator with parks concentrated in the south of England. The debt facilities were raised entirely from Park’s pre-existing syndicate of the five major UK clearing banks. The refinance enabled a distribution to all shareholders which, coupled with previously received dividends, is said to have returned c.48% of Caledonia’s original investment. With 25 holiday parks in the South of England stretching from Devon in the west to Suffolk in the east, Park Holidays says is the largest operator of parks in the south of England. The company’s performance is said to have been buoyed by a rise in so called “staycations” among Britons. According to data from VisitEngland, £1.9 billion was spent on holiday parks and caravan trips in 2015. Caledonia is a self-managed investment trust company with net assets of £1.6bn. Its heritage can be traced back to the shipping empire established by Sir Charles Cayzer in 1878. Caledonia continues to enjoy the backing the Cayzer family in its fifth generation, who own 48.5% of its share capital. The Cayzer family shareholding provides both support to the firm’s long term value investment horizon and provides a foundation to its culture of conservative generational wealth management. Caledonia maintains a concentrated portfolio of international investments and funds, which are organised as pools of capital, with clearly agreed objectives and strategy. The company, formerly known as the Foreign Railways Investment Trust Ltd, was incorporated in 1928. It was acquired by the Cayzer family in 1951 to hold their diverse interests and was renamed Caledonia Investments Ltd. In 1955 Caledonia acquired the Cayzer family’s interest in the British & Commonwealth Shipping Co. Ltd, formed out of the merger of Clan Line Steamers, the world’s largest cargo carrying line, founded by Sir by Charles Cayzer in 1881, and the iconic Union-Castle Line. In 1960 the company was listed on the London Stock Exchange and in 1981 it was renamed Caledonia Investments PLC. After its holding in British & Commonwealth was sold in 1987, Caledonia Investments became a diversified trading and investment company, which in turn was converted into a UK Investment trust company in 2003.]]>