Permira backs UK holiday parks firm

The private equity firm’s debt management arm is sole lender in a refinancing of LDC-supported Away Resorts.

Permira Debt Managers (PDM), the debt management and advisory arm of private equity firm Permira, is acting as sole lender in the refinancing of Away Resorts’ existing debt.

PDM’s support will help Away Resorts with the acquisition of its sixth holiday park, Sandy Balls in the New Forest. The acquisition brings the valuation of Away Resorts, which was backed by private equity firm LDC in a secondary buyout in April 2015, to more than £100 million.

PDM says its financing, which includes a capex facility, will allow Away Resorts to improve and expand the range of facilities and accommodation provided across its six parks.

Founded in 2007, Away Resorts’ park locations include the Isle of Wight, Tattershall Lakes in Lincolnshire, Snowdonia in Wales, and Mersea Island in Essex. The sites are owned freehold by the group and cover more than 1,000 acres of land. Pitch types include caravans, lodges, chalets and touring pitches.

“A combination of proven robust demand for UK-based vacations and significant freehold assets makes the holiday park sector an attractive one,” said Dan Hatcher, investment director at PDM.

Two other major deals were completed in the sector towards the end of last year. In December, Ares Management supplied a £150 million second-lien loan in support of Onex’s £1.35 billion acquisition of the UK’s Parkdean Resorts; while the previous month, KKR Credit provided an undisclosed amount of financing to Dutch holiday park operator Roompot.

PDM is understood to be targeting around €1 billion for its Credit Solutions III (PCS III) fund. The fund received a £60 million commitment from the UK’s Environment Agency Pension Fund towards the end of last year. The predecessor fund, PCS II, closed on €800 million in 2014.