Holiday resort chain Center Parcs has been put up for sale by its owner, the Canadian private equity firm Brookfield.
The group bought the UK business for around £2.4bn in 2015 but is now reportedly hoping to sell it for as much as £5bn.
According to the Financial Times, Brookfield has appointed investment bankers to look for potential buyers, which could include other private equity firms.
Center Parcs runs six-holiday villages throughout England and Ireland, attracting two million visitors a year.
The firm opened its first village in 1987, Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, before opening new sites at Elveden Forest, Longleat Forest, Whinfell Forest and Woburn Forest.
And in 2019, it opened its first village in Ireland at the Longford Forest near Ballymahon in County Longford.
The company was hoping to build a new site in Worth Forest, West Sussex, but pulled out following concerns from wildlife campaigners.
It had lost money during the pandemic but later made a £66m profit in the year to April 2022. Sales by that point had quadrupled to £503m.
In the same year, it was criticised by some customers who forced the firm to backtrack on its decision to ask guests to leave its sites on the day of the Queen’s funeral.
Center Parcs said the plan was made “as a mark of respect” and to allow employees to “be part of this historic moment”.
That meant some customers would have been forced to leave the villages part-way through their holidays before returning the next day.
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