ABG Corporate Finance is delighted to have advised the shareholders of Hemsby Belle Aire Limited (trading as Belle Aire Holiday Park) on its sale to Hop Farm Real Estate Limited.
The deal comes on the back of healthy M&A activity in the UK holiday parks market in the past 18 months, with consolidation of both large operators as well as the sale of individual sites, such as Belle Aire.
Whilst the near-term macro-economic environment creates some uncertainty causing certain parties to suspend their sales processes until the market stabilises, such as Parkdean Resorts, other high-profile auctions are ongoing, such as the sale of Center Parcs and Butlin’s. Appetite remains strong across private equity investors and strategic buyers attracted by the increased demand for domestic holidays.
The UK holiday parks market has long been a stable segment for investment given the asset-backed nature of holiday park businesses, with value in both real estate locations and property. The fragmented sector is ideal for buy-and-build strategies, with opportunities to acquire single holiday parks or smaller operators with a handful of sites, alongside organic growth and upgrading of the acquired sites.
The sale of Hemsby Belle Aire is such an example of a trade acquirer adding a single site to its growing portfolio. Located in the Norfolk seaside village of Hemsby, Belle Aire Holiday Park offers luxury chalet and caravan accommodation in close proximity to the Norfolk coastline, the Norfolk Broads and seaside resorts such as Great Yarmouth and Cromer. The park occupies a site of circa 20 acres together with food and drink facilities, and entertainment throughout the season. Comprising 315 chalets and 98 static caravans, 2 contemporary and luxury lodges were also added to the portfolio in 2022. The business has been family owned and run since the 1970s.
Hop Farm Real Estate owns event venue and visitor attraction The Hop Farm in Paddock Wood, Kent, whose offerings include a family park, campsite and touring park and venue for concerts, weddings etc. Owned by leisure sector entrepreneur Peter Bull, the wider group’s assets also include camping and touring parks in Dorset and East Sussex, as well as holiday resorts in France and Spain.
Eleanor Wilkinson, who led the ABG Corporate Finance team, commented: “It was a pleasure to advise the shareholders of Belle Aire, helping them achieve value for the business, not just the land and property, whilst also securing a new home for the business going forward. With a number of larger players looking to grow through acquisition, I anticipate further consolidation in this sector.”
Sally Burrell, Managing Director, said: “Eleanor and her team made the otherwise painful and complex process of selling our business straightforward and efficient. We couldn’t have done it without them.”