Palatine Exits Verdant Leisure with a Returns Multiple of 3.7x

02-12-2021

We have exchanged contracts for the sale of our stake in Verdant Leisure, the award-winning holiday park operator, to the management team backed by Pears Partnership Capital. The deal has received FCA approval.

Verdant Leisure is a bespoke holiday park operator offering lodge and caravan holidays and holiday home ownership at stunning sites across Scotland and Northern England.

The sale will see us exit the business with a returns multiple of 3.7x, following a highly successful strategy of acquisitions and value creation which has grown Verdant’s annual turnover by 150% since 2016. Since investing in the business in April 2016, we have supported Verdant to acquire six additional sites, increasing its footprint to ten locations and 3,500 pitches, making it a leading operator in the UK.

Management’s value creation focus has increased both holiday home sales and the profitability of Verdant’s holiday let operations by enhancing on-site leisure facilities and investing in central management functions including a new head office and customer service contact centre.

The business has also benefitted from our decade-long leadership in ESG, which has included a range of impactful sustainability initiatives. In addition, a focus on talent management and rewards has increased employee satisfaction and earned Verdant a host of employer awards, including being named as the eighth best large company to work for in the UK in the annual Best Companies ranking for 2021.

Partner, Ed Fazakerley and Investment Director, James Painter transacted the investment in 2016 and have worked with the management team to grow the business.

Ed Fazakerley said: “This exit marks the culmination of a highly successful investment for Palatine, achieving remarkable growth through strategic buy and build opportunities and a driving focus on operational excellence and sustainability.”

“There has been a growing trend towards staycations in the UK holiday market with increased demand for holiday accommodation in premium locations. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the management team to add value to the business and we wish them every success with their future growth plans.”

Mark Crowther, Managing Director of Pears Partnership Capital which acts on behalf of The Pears family in respect of direct private equity investments in operating businesses, said: “We are delighted to have signed this initial investment into the UK caravan park sector. Our commitment to investing for the long term will significantly differentiate us as an owner. We are excited about working with the management team in a market that is full of opportunity.”

The deal is the third successful exit for us in 2021 so far. In May we completed the sale of our shareholding in road safety training provider TTC to its management team and Pricoa Private Capital, and in July agreed a deal to sell our stake in national independent financial adviser Wren Sterling to the management team supported by Lightyear Capital LLC.

We have also completed four new investments in 2021 with the acquisitions of Anthesis, FourNet, Routes Healthcare and TranScrip across its Buyout and Impact Funds.

We have enjoyed great support from Palatine over the last five years. The team’s expertise in buy and build and its forward-thinking approach to ESG strategy, has helped us to scale profitably and consolidate our status as an operator of choice at a time of great opportunity in the UK holiday market. The management team now look forward to continuing this growth strategy with the support of our new investors at Pears Partnership Capital.

Graham Hodgson

Chief Executive, Verdant Leisure