Future of Butlin’s in Skegness secured after £300 million sale to original owners

The future of Butlin’s in Skegness appears secured after the holiday business was bought back by its original owners in a £300 million deal.

Butlin's has been sold - securing the future of the site in Skegness.
Butlin's has been sold - securing the future of the site in Skegness.

Current owners Blackstone and Bourne Leisure have agreed to sell the firm back to the Harris family more than 18 months after it was sold.

Butlin's, which has a head office in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, was sold in January 2021.

In August we reported that the UK’s largest private pensions scheme Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) bought Butlin’s assets in a £300 million ground rent deal.

Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) announced the acquisition from Blackstone-owned Bourne Leisure Group on its website.

This concludes an uncertain time for the popular holiday business founded in 1936 by Billy Butlin.

The first all-inclusive seaside holiday camp opened its first site in Skegness, Today, it operates three resorts, in Minehead, Bognor Regis as well as in Skegness, and together attracts some 1.5m guests annually, the firm said.

It was in November last year that US private equity giant Blackstonehad selected investment bankers to conduct an auction this year.

Blackstone appointed Rothschild last autumn to conduct the auction after concluding that Butlin's 'did not fit with the rest of the group'

At the time it was reported Blackstone was also holding talks with at least one interested party about the sale of the Butlin’s operating business.

Paul Harris, for Harris Family Trusts, said it was "delighted to reaffirm our love for Butlin's and once again be the new owners of this great brand."

He said: “We are delighted to reaffirm our love for Butlin’s and once again be the new owners of this great brand.

“We look forward to working alongside the Butlin’s leadership team as they strive to deliver their strategic plan for the business and help them accelerate their investment plans to give our Butlin’s guests an even better holiday experience.”

Lionel Assant, European head of private equity at Blackstone, said: “Butlin’s is in a strong position to take advantage of the continued growth in the staycation market, and I have no doubt it will continue to flourish.”

The Harris family continue to have a stake in Bourne Leisure, which operates the Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels brands.