Pontin’s Finally Sold

Lucas Gilmore, “Big 4″ observer
January 28, 2011 /

Britannia Hotel Group, owned by Alex Langsam, has closed a deal with administrators from KPMG to exchange contract on holiday camp operator Pontin’s as a going concern, saving about 850 jobs in different sites.

KPMG administrators said early this month it expected Pontin’s to attract buyers in a matter of weeks following its administration as 10 serious buyers had shown interest in a bid for the sale of the business. Jane Moriarty, David Costley-Wood and Rob Croxen were appointed joint administrators to Pontin’s.

The holiday camp operator has been running its sites normally in Brean Sands in Somerset; Camber Sands in Sussex; Pakefield in Suffolk; Prestatyn Sands in Wales and Southport in Merseyside while administrators were seeking buyers.

Rob Croxen, restructuring director at KPMG and joint administrator who led the sale, said Pontin’s has “attracted a high level of interest from a broad range of investors such as wealthy individuals, private equity houses, property developers and trade buyers.”

“Britannia, a leisure operator with a proven track record, has clinched the winning bid, ensuring Pontin’s lives on as a destination for holidaymakers,” he added.

Alex Langsam of Britannia, said “there is a growing demand for traditional seaside holidays and we are prepared to back this judgement with considerable investment.”

On January 26, another player in the sector has also been saved through a deal closed by PricewaterhouseCoopers administrators.

Diamond Holidays, a Swansea-based coach operator which called in PwC administrators on January 7 after it bore the brunt of tight trading conditions in the sector, has been bought by Edwards Coaches. The Pontypridd-based coach operator initially expressed interest of buying Diamond Holidays after PwC has put the business for sale.


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