Investment group owning Asda 'exploring takeover bid' for Butlin's

Future visitors to Butlin's in Skegness could 'Get the Asda Price Feeling' if the investment group owning the supermarket chain makes a successful takeover bid.

It's business as usual for Butlin's with the return of day visits.
It's business as usual for Butlin's with the return of day visits.

Fortress Investment Group and TDR Capital are among the parties which have lodged indicative offers for the Bourne Leisure holiday camps, including Skegness, according to Sky News.

It is believed Fortress Investment Group owns Punch Taverns, and TDR Capital, one of the principal shareholders in Asda, have submitted 'indicative offers' for Butlin's in the last few days.

Sky News has reported that City sources said on Wednesday that other parties had bid for the business too, with bankers suggesting that another offer may have come from KSL Capital Partners, a prolific investor in UK leisure assets.

It was in November last year that US private equity giant Blackstone, which owns the majority of Butlin’s parent company, Bourne Leisure, had 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'.

Butlin's was established in Skegness in 1936 by Billy Butlin, who - according to official history - "felt sorry for families staying in drab guest-houses with nothing much to do" during a trip to Barry Island.

He acquired a plot of land in Ingoldmells and opened the first resort.

Eventually there were nine sites across the UK, where one million were entertained holidaymakers each year with knobbly knees competitions and glamorous granny contests.

Staff at the resorts who also entertained visitors became known as Redcoats and were the inspiration for popular television sitcoms like Hi-de-Hi!.

Popularity waned with the growth of holiday abroad, but the three remaining resorts at Skegness, Minehead and Bognor Regis enjoyed a resurgence as the pandemic has fuelled a boom in staycations.

Lincolnshire World has regularly requested an update on the auction and has been told we will be informed when there is something to announce.

In the meantime it is business as usual as the resort in Skegness prepares for a busy Easter., especially with the return of day visitor passes.