A company which owns holiday parks in one of Lancashire’s top beauty spots has been snapped up by an investment giant.

Legal and General Ventures, the private equity arm of the national insurance firm, has acquired South Lakeland Caravans Ltd in a deal believed to be worth in excess of £100m.

The group owns nine lodge and caravan parks in the Morecambe Bay area and the Lake District, including the Regent Leisure Park in Morecambe, the Marina Caravan Park, near Lancaster and Hawthornes Caravan Park in Heysham.

LGV managing director Bill Priestly said: “The parks are unique assets in some of the most picturesque areas of the country and we are delighted to continue our focus on the leisure industry through this acquisition.

“We have had a successful experience with caravan parks in the past, having invested in Bourne Leisure.

“We are looking forward to working with Graham and the team to develop the business further.”

Entrepreneur John Morphet, who owns a range of leisure sites across the world, founded the group in 1988 and has developed it into a multi-million pound empire.

Its most recent set of financial results revealed South Lakeland had a turnover of almost £31m and generates operating profits of £11.2m.

Group chief executive Graham Hodgson said: “This transaction will allow John to concentrate on his other enterprises and the management team to focus on the core UK business.
Acquisitions

“The support of LGV will enable us to take advantage of any suitable acquisitions as they arise, generating exciting opportunities for all managers and staff going forward.”

The Manchester office of Grant Thornton advised LGV on the acquisition while accountants KPMG, which has a major office on Preston docks, acted for the leisure group and Dow Schofield Watts acted for management

Source: Business News – Preston Today

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