Butlin’s Acquisition a Shot in the Arm for UK Hospitality

US investment management company Blackstone has acquired Bourne Leisure in a deal reported to be worth £3 billion. Bourne Leisure employs more than 16,000 staff, hosting 25,000 holiday-home owners, and attracting 4.5 million guests to 56 sites across the UK every year. Among its portfolio is holiday resort chain Butlin’s, which has recently undergone large-scale investment in its conference and event offering, as well as Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels.

Blackstone has invested heavily in wider hospitality, travel, leisure and events sectors. Alongside investment in Center Parcs and current ownership of Merlin, the private equity group acquired the NEC Group in 2018 for £800 million.

Lionel Assant, European Head of Private Equity at Blackstone, said the group had confidence in the UK’s domestic market. “We are long-term believers in the UK and are delighted to invest meaningful capital, despite recent uncertainty, to support the recovery of a COVID-impacted industry, and wider local economies.”