Gusto’s Chairman, Jeremy Roberts, commented: "Matt brings a wealth of relevant experience to the role and we are very excited at his appointment. He will bring a different perspective and outlook to the business, enabling him to build on the strong foundations laid to date".
Snell commented: "Sue and the team have done a fantastic job in getting the business to where it is today, and I am both grateful and delighted to be given the opportunity to develop and expand the business even further".
Sue Crimes led a management buy-out of Gusto from Living Ventures in 2013, when the estate comprised 9 sites, in a deal backed by Palatine Private Equity. The group now operates 19 sites across the country.
Roberts added: "Sue has been with the business since its inception in 2008 and has overseen its growth since Palatine’s investment ‐ the estate has more than doubled in size under her leadership. I am delighted that she will be staying with the business to assist the transition and to continue to add her wealth of sector knowledge and specific operational nous to the board."
Sue Crimes commented: "This has been a move that we have been planning for many months and our appointment of Matt recently was the last piece of that jigsaw. I am really looking forward to taking up my new role, and am really excited to continue to be involved in a different capacity with this fantastic business."
The purchase brings Verdant Leisure’s portfolio to eight parks across southern Scotland and North East England and marks the fourth bolt-on since the company was backed by Palatine Private Equity in April 2016. This deal will continue the company’s growth strategy to create a strong regional group with significant scale, and Verdant Leisure remains keen to add further parks to its group during 2018.
Situated in the picturesque Borders village of Coldingham, the leisure park is unrivalled in its position, within a few minutes walk from the sandy beach of Coldingham Bay.The area is a magnet for water sports enthusiasts with diving, sea kayaking and canoeing popular at the bay and nearby St. Abbs. Such outdoor pursuits and the area’s rich history make it popular with holidaymakers and holiday home owners throughout the year.
Graham Hodgson, CEO of Verdant Leisure said: "This acquisition is a perfect choice for the Verdant Leisure group in terms of the geographical location right in the heart of our existing business interests. It is an area we know well and Scoutscroft will bring a further 180 pitches to the wider group. We have further investment in the park planned and this will roll out over the next 24 months. We will also look to extend the opening period of the park to 11 months from the existing 9 and-a-half enabling our customers to enjoy more time at their holiday homes."
Ed Fazakerley, Partner at Palatine Private Equity, said: "We have been impressed by the hard work and commitment of the management team over the last 18 months. This is the fourth park acquired by Verdant since we invested in 2016 and we plan to continue growing Verdant’s portfolio of leisure parks further."
Verdant Leisure was founded in September 2010 following a management buy-in of Dunham Leisure Limited, owners of Pease Bay and Thurston Manor leisure parks in South East Scotland. Verdant went on to purchase Viewfield Manor Leisure Park in Ayrshire in July 2011 and Riverside Leisure Park in Northumberland in 2012. Kingfisher and Heather View holiday parks in Wear Valley, and Coldingham Bay were acquired as part of an ongoing buy-and-build strategy implemented by Palatine. Verdant Leisure now operates 3,000 pitches of privately owned lodges, holiday homes, holiday lettings and touring facilities.
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