Blackstone and Bourne Leisure have agreed to the sale of Butlin’s, the iconic British seaside resorts, to a newly formed company backed by the Harris family for £300 million.
Butlin’s was founded in 1936 by Billy Butlin, who opened the first site in Skegness with the aim of revolutionising British seaside holidays and providing a “place of colour and happiness” to be enjoyed by all. Today, it operates three resorts in Minehead, Bognor Regis and the original site in Skegness which together attract over 1.5 million guests every year.
Established in 1964, Bourne Leisure is one of the largest providers of holidays and holiday home ownership in the UK.
Blackstone acquired the company from the founding Harris, Cook and Allen families in January 2021. As part of the transaction, the families co-invested alongside Blackstone, and together hold a minority stake in the business.
Upon completion, Bourne will continue to operate its two heritage brands, Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels.
Lionel Assant, European Head of Private Equity, Blackstone, said: “Staying true to our high-conviction investment approach, we believe we are well positioned to drive the continued success of both the Haven and Warner businesses. Proceeds from the Butlin’s sale will enable us to continue delivering our ambitious investment programmes across both brands, supporting upgrades to the existing estates and adding new sites to the portfolio, to the benefit of millions of customers.
“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. We wish everyone there every success for the future.”
Paul Harris, on behalf of the Harris Family Trusts, 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.”
Paul Flaum, Group Chief Executive Officer of Bourne Leisure, added: “I am immensely proud of what Butlin’s has achieved over the past few years, continuing to deliver Billy Butlin’s vision of family fun. It has been a privilege to work with the Butlin’s management team and I would like to thank both the Bourne and Butlin’s teams for their commitment and contribution to this great British institution over so many years. We wish the whole Butlin’s team the very best of luck.
“Everyone at Bourne is now excited to focus on developing and growing our brilliant Haven and Warner brands. We have a tremendous opportunity, building on our success to date and working together with Blackstone, to create the most loved holiday and holiday home brands in the UK. I’d like to thank all the teams in Bourne, Haven and Warner for their outstanding commitment and ongoing support in delivering our Bourne mission, to give our Warner and Haven guests and holiday homeowners a great time with memories that last a lifetime.”