Bourne Leisure sale - What does it mean for Butlin's and Haven Holidays' Bognor resorts?

The owner of Butlin's and Haven Holidays has been sold to a US investment firm but what does it mean for the resorts in Bognor Regis?

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 5:24 pm
Updated Friday, 5th March 2021, 12:28 pm

Blackstone, which has previously invested in Center Parcs and owns Merlin, has bought Bourne Leisure.

Jeremy Pardey, director of Butlin’s Bognor resort, said there will be ‘no risk’ to jobs after the sale, adding: “Come next month, we will be starting to recruit again, getting ready to reopen on May 17.

"Over the period we’ve closed, we’ve lost a few members of our team who have gone on to new roles.

Blackstone, which has previously invested in Center Parcs and owns Merlin, has bought Bourne Leisure - the owner of Butlin's and Haven

“We anticpate we’ll be back up to 40 by the middle of June. Over the next few years, we’ll need more people as we develop the resort.”

Mr Pardey also confirmed that Butlin’s ‘integral’ brand name would remain intact.

Meanwhile, there are 'no immediate plans to change anything' at Haven's Church Farm park in Pagham.

"Holiday makers this summer will look to experience the same Haven break that they are used to," a spokesperson said.

"However, Blackstone has long admired Bourne and its companies and see that there is huge potential in the brands in the future."

The Church Farm holiday park will reopen to holidaymakers on April 12.

Lisa Burger, Haven operations director, said: “Whilst we can’t discuss any development plans, we are excited to be part of a wider group which has vast experience in the leisure and hospitality industry, having previously owned Center Parcs and now owners of Merlin Entertainments.

"We look forward to seeing how we can grow and build the Haven name and guest experience."

Paul Flaum, Group Chief Executive Officer for Bourne Leisure, said this is a 'really exciting new chapter' for the company, guests, holiday-home owners and team members.

He added: “After the turmoil of 2020, we are delighted that Blackstone, who have a clear track record in investing in the UK leisure sector, have seen in Bourne Leisure the huge value in potential in the British holiday market.”

Bourne Leisure employs more than 16,000 people, hosting 25,000 holiday-home owners, and attracting 4.5 million guests to 56 sites across the UK every year.

Lionel Assant, European head of private equity at Blackstone, said: “Our strong track record investing in the UK leisure sector will allow us to further enhance the company’s unique, high quality assets across the country, and continue building on its success for guests, holiday-home owners and team members over the last 57 years.”