Butlin’s, the iconic British holiday park which was the inspiration for the long-running BBC sitcom Hi De Hi, could be back in the hands of its owners after the Harris family offered £300m to retake control of the chain.
The Harris family, who co-founded Bourne Leisure in the 1960s, is linked to a vehicle which is finalising a deal with Blackstone, the private equity firm which currently owns the group.
The deal could take place as early as next week, according to Sky News.
The Harris family sold Bourne Leisure to BlackStone 18 months ago for more than £3 billion – and for a time, BlackStone was rumoured to be considering auctioning Butlin’s.
Has Bourne Leisure sold Butlins?
Bourne Leisure owned Butlin’s since 2000, but sold it in 2021.
Butlin’s was founded in 1936 by Billy Butlin, who “felt sorry for families staying in drab guest-houses with nothing much to do” and at one point was host to a million holidaymakers every year.
The brand became famous for on-site entertainment including music, wrestling and knobbly knee competitions.
Last month, pension fund the Universities Superannuation Scheme announced it was to buy Butlin’s real estate assets for £300m.
View from the City
According to TipRanks’ analyst rating consensus, BlackStone (BX) stock has a Strong Buy rating, based on six Buy and no hold or sell rankings.
The average price target is $124.70, which is 14.62% higher than the current price level. The stock has a high forecast of $153 and a low forecast of $102.
This deal would take the total proceeds from the sale of Butlin’s to £600m, a big sale in a difficult economic time.