Freshstream announced today that CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII has reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in leading British holiday park operator Away Resorts.
Founded in 2008 by leisure entrepreneurs Carl Castledine, Neill Ryder and Greg Lashley, Away Resorts operates nine parks in prime UK holiday destinations, including Tattershall Lakes in Lincolnshire and Sandy Balls in the New Forest, welcoming almost 200,000 holiday-makers each year. The business recently expanded through the acquisition of popular Cornwall holiday park St Ives Bay, and over the past few years has invested heavily into its existing estate, to expand parks and add state-of-the-art facilities and entertainment complexes.
Freshstream invested in Away Resorts in August 2019, acquiring a controlling majority shareholding, with LDC retaining a significant minority stake. Together they have supported Carl and the team to become a leading operator with a broad portfolio of well-invested, market-leading UK holiday parks. Over this period, the business has enjoyed strong organic growth alongside a successful buy-and-build strategy. The outlook for Away Resorts continues to be strong, with record demand set for H2 2021.
Carl Castledine, CEO of Away Resorts, commented: "We're really excited to be partnering with CVC to drive the next phase of Away Resorts' growth. Their experience in helping companies scale and expand their operational and digital footprint will be invaluable as we take our growth to the next level. Freshstream has been the perfect partner for us over the past two years, providing capital to expand and operational and strategic advice to help us scale the business. We are very grateful to have had Freshstream on board and have appreciated all the support they've given us."
David Wells, a Managing Director at CVC Capital Partners, commented: "We have been hugely impressed by the success of Away Resorts' differentiated, family-oriented holiday park proposition. The business is well positioned in a fragmented and growing market that benefits from strong consumer tailwinds. We are excited to be partnering with Carl and the Away Resorts team to support the development of the platform they have built and accelerate their ambitious expansion plans, through investing in existing parks and by significantly growing the estate over the years to come."
Commenting on its second exit, Gilles Gradassi, Principal at Freshstream, said: "We've been delighted to support the Away Resorts team in their journey. Since founding the business in 2008, Away Resorts has developed into a highly regarded and innovative holiday operator, well positioned to capitalise on the strong momentum they have generated. We've really enjoyed working with Carl and the rest of the team to accelerate the growth of the business. We look forward to watching its continued success."
The sale is Freshstream's second full exit and fourth significant liquidity event in Fund 1 since making its first investment in 2016.