Scottish caravan park operator buys sites in Devon

A Scotland-focused caravan parks business has hit the acquisition trail in England months after it was bought by property investors.

Verdant Leisure has bought two caravan parks in Devon amid what backers described as an exciting time for the sector.

Caravan park operators have benefitted from a boom in demand for staycations in recent years. This has been fuelled by curbs imposed on overseas travel amid the pandemic, although parks were closed for months last year amid lockdowns in the UK.

Verdant said it is keen to acquire more parks next year.  

The acquisition of the Golden Coast Holiday Village and Cleavewood Park in north Devon is the first completed by Verdant in southern England.

READ MORE: Scottish caravan park operator sold amid staycation boom

The business said the expansion would allow it to appeal to a much wider customer base.

It did not provide financial details.

Verdant was launched following the acquisition of the Pease Bay site on the Berwickshire coast and Thurston Manor in East Lothian in 2010. It has acquired five more sites in Scotland since then and three in County Durham.

The business was formed by a team led by Graham Hodgson, who sold South Lakeland Caravan Parks for £125m in 2007. The founders believed Verdant could achieve rapid growth by acting as a consolidator in a fragmented market.

They won backing for expansion from private equity investors.

In August Pears Partnership Capital acquired a majority stake in Verdant from Palatine Private Equity in a deal that it is thought put a multi-million valuation on the business.

READ MORE: Housing heavyweight eyes expansion in Scotland under leadership of former Edinburgh Trams boss

PPC acts on behalf of the family that owns the William Pears property group.

Regarding the move into Devon, PPC’s Mark Harper said: “We are delighted to support Verdant’s growth, and this acquisition provides scale for national expansion during an exciting time for the UK caravan park sector.”

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