Dow Schofield Watts’ corporate finance team in Yorkshire & the North East has advised on the £103m sale of Park Leisure 2000 (“Park Leisure”), the UK’s leading luxury holiday park operator. Dow Schofield Watts advised the shareholders of Park Leisure.

The deal allows co-founder Miles Dewhurst and the management team to take control of the business, with backing of Midlothian Capital Partners (“MCP”), Ares Capital and a consortium of investors.

Gary Molloy, CEO and co-founder, who is departing from the business to pursue other interests after 19 years commented: “The company started from an office in a bedroom in my house and has steadily grown ever since. Now with ten parks across the UK and a continued focus on quality, we have built a unique offering for our holiday home owners.

“We do not know of any other group of parks in the UK that are consistently of the quality we have developed within the Park Leisure brand. As I leave I’m delighted to know that Park Leisure will not only be in the safe hands of Miles and his team, but will have the stewardship of MCP who clearly know this sector very well.”

Park Leisure has a turnover of £58m and employs 350 staff. Co-founder Miles Dewhurst will now become CEO of the business, while Andrew Bracey of MCP will become Chairman and will be joined on the board by MCP founders Aidan Clegg and Neil Currie.

“As we turn the page on a new chapter with Park Leisure, I’m excited for the opportunity ahead and know that we have the right partners in MCP to deliver a great future for the business,” said Miles Dewhurst.

The DSW Corporate Finance team comprised Roger Esler, Tony Norwood and Paul Herriott. Squire Patton Boggs provided legal advice to the vendor, with their team consisting of Hannah Kendrick, Giles Chesher, David Chan and Craig Pettit.

Roger Esler commented: “Park Leisure 2000 has been one of Yorkshire’s great success stories. To date it has evolved and grown without access to external equity capital. With the financial muscle and deep sector knowledge that MCP brings, this next stage of growth will be exciting to watch. It’s been a great pleasure working with such a visionary entrepreneurial management team and innovative and pragmatic capital providers.”

Jo Cowl, CFO at Park Leisure commented: “We found the DSW team to be both commercial and flexible to changing transaction dynamics and funders during the course of the project. The final structure was more complex than we had first envisaged and DSW swiftly anchored key terms and principles up front. This proved to be strongly advantageous to the shareholders.”

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