MYSTERY this week surrounded the future of Butlin’s Minehead holiday centre as big names in the leisure business were reported to be in a fierce bidding war for the group’s parent company.
The owners of supermarket giant Asda are thought to have already submitted an “indicative offer” of £600 million for the three Butlin’s holiday centres - Minehead, Skegness and Bognor Regis.
They were put up for sale last year by private equity company Blackstone which bought out the previous owners, Bourne Leisure, in 2021.
Later Blackstone apparently decided that Butlin’s was “non-core to its growth plans”, and instructed bankers Rothschild to look for buyers.
It was predicted that there would be a “deluge of interest” in acquiring the brand from rival holiday park operators.
This week, City sources reported that suitors looking to snap up the holiday chain included the New York-based Fortress investment Group, owners of Punch Taverns.
But leading the race this week was said to be TDR Capital, which with grocery and petrol station billionaires Zuber and Mohhsin Issa, acquired a majority stake in Asda in February 2021 for £780 million.
It was also reported that Blackstone had received several other bids, including one from US travel and leisure investors KSL Capital Partners.
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