UPDATED: Job losses fear after Lake District holiday company taken over in £50 million deal

JOBS are feared at risk following the takeover of a South Lakeland holiday company in a deal worth nearly £50 million.

South Lakeland Parks, which has sites at White Cross Bay near Windermere, Fallbarrow Park in Bowness and Limefitt in the Troutbeck Valley, has been acquired by Park Resorts.

Staff in Cumbria which also manages its resorts in North Lancashire, have been told redundancies are possible and that the Natland HQ could now close. 

South Lakeland Parks has changed hands several times in recent years but has around 20-30 staff at its HQ.

Just 12 months ago it was on the market for £70 million and in 2007 it sold for £125 million. One of its former owners is the local businessman and former sheep farmer, John Morphet, who owns the rival Pure Leisure Group.

In a statement, Park Resorts said: "Park Resorts and its new majority shareholder, Electra Partners, worked together to acquire South Lakeland in a deal worth almost £50m. 

"The acquisition comes only two months after Electra Partners led the refinancing of Park Resorts which will provide significant further investment in the parks to improve facilities across existing holiday parks.

“The North West is a region of the UK synonymous with family holidays and an area, up until now, we had no stake in,” said David Boden, Park Resorts.

"South Lakeland’s nine parks are all high quality and will perfectly complement our existing portfolio. The parks are ideally located for owners and holiday makers to experience some of the most spectacular scenery the UK has to offer.”


 

Comments (16)

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12:36pm Fri 27 Sep 13

Adam_Kendal says...

While the article correctly states "South Lakeland Parks, which has its headquarters at Natland, employs hundreds of staff and has changed hands several times in recent years." it and Park Resorts fail to mention that Headquarters will be closing, resulting in many job losses. All these functions will be moved to their Head Office in Hemel Hempstead.

A shame that a well known Lake District business will now be run by money-grabbing people, many of whom have no doubt, have never even been to the Lake District.
While the article correctly states "South Lakeland Parks, which has its headquarters at Natland, employs hundreds of staff and has changed hands several times in recent years." it and Park Resorts fail to mention that Headquarters will be closing, resulting in many job losses. All these functions will be moved to their Head Office in Hemel Hempstead. A shame that a well known Lake District business will now be run by money-grabbing people, many of whom have no doubt, have never even been to the Lake District. Adam_Kendal
  • Score: 33

11:45pm Fri 27 Sep 13

blade stall says...

I wouldn't like to be the man telling duncan bannatyne his site fees are going up and btw we are putting hire fleet next to his cabin!!!!!!!!!!!
I wouldn't like to be the man telling duncan bannatyne his site fees are going up and btw we are putting hire fleet next to his cabin!!!!!!!!!!! blade stall
  • Score: 7

5:18am Sat 28 Sep 13

britainbreaks says...

Thanks for sharing Ellis

I think any travel company having affordable price & excellent facilities will be more than happy to avail offers.

I would love to see more work related to Camping & Caravanning
britainsbestbreaks.t
v/coastal.htm.
Thanks for sharing Ellis I think any travel company having affordable price & excellent facilities will be more than happy to avail offers. I would love to see more work related to Camping & Caravanning britainsbestbreaks.t v/coastal.htm. britainbreaks
  • Score: -12

9:21am Sat 28 Sep 13

Oh Great! says...

Shame. Stopped at a Park Resort once. Grim.
Shame. Stopped at a Park Resort once. Grim. Oh Great!
  • Score: 11

11:49am Sat 28 Sep 13

doodleshire14 says...

Isn't this a bit like "Netto buys Booth's"?
Isn't this a bit like "Netto buys Booth's"? doodleshire14
  • Score: 17

10:10pm Sat 28 Sep 13

blade stall says...

Wow from 125 million to under 50. Im surprised a consortium of local operators never got together sounds a very realistic valuation. Any idea what happens to all the owners with long term leases on the lodges??
Wow from 125 million to under 50. Im surprised a consortium of local operators never got together sounds a very realistic valuation. Any idea what happens to all the owners with long term leases on the lodges?? blade stall
  • Score: 4

7:05am Sun 29 Sep 13

Moonbase says...

Not only the job losses at Natland, but the concern is that the firm employs mainly on short term seasonal contracts.
Make loads of money in season then chuff off decent staff in the winter!!!!
Erm..........sounds a bit like a local boat firm with a monopoly and an attitude to match, take it or leave it!
Not only the job losses at Natland, but the concern is that the firm employs mainly on short term seasonal contracts. Make loads of money in season then chuff off decent staff in the winter!!!! Erm..........sounds a bit like a local boat firm with a monopoly and an attitude to match, take it or leave it! Moonbase
  • Score: 12

6:28pm Sun 29 Sep 13

jazzactivist says...

This is a shame in all sorts of ways, as Park Resorts has a reputation for being a high volume / low cost company. This will have an effect on not only the existing holiday home owners, but also on the Lakes as a whole as it mostly relies on middle class tourists and visitors.

It's a real pity for existing staff. There should be a law that requires companies that take over other companies to keep all existing staff in post for a full year following any takeover, to allow them time to find other jobs if they want to.
This is a shame in all sorts of ways, as Park Resorts has a reputation for being a high volume / low cost company. This will have an effect on not only the existing holiday home owners, but also on the Lakes as a whole as it mostly relies on middle class tourists and visitors. It's a real pity for existing staff. There should be a law that requires companies that take over other companies to keep all existing staff in post for a full year following any takeover, to allow them time to find other jobs if they want to. jazzactivist
  • Score: 5

4:39pm Mon 30 Sep 13

Cas220 says...

Who has actually said they aren't going to keep all existing staff? Who says anything is going to change? To be fair though, if the company has lost so much value in such a small time then it cannot be viable in it's current model. It is sad but a company must make money at the end of the day.
Who has actually said they aren't going to keep all existing staff? Who says anything is going to change? To be fair though, if the company has lost so much value in such a small time then it cannot be viable in it's current model. It is sad but a company must make money at the end of the day. Cas220
  • Score: -5

5:35pm Mon 30 Sep 13

Lwat137 says...

They are not keeping all existing staff - FACT. Head Office Staff in Natland are getting made redundant. LOCAL Knowledgeable, reliable, passionate employees are losing their jobs in place of money driven employees from Park Resorts head office. Very sad times.
They are not keeping all existing staff - FACT. Head Office Staff in Natland are getting made redundant. LOCAL Knowledgeable, reliable, passionate employees are losing their jobs in place of money driven employees from Park Resorts head office. Very sad times. Lwat137
  • Score: 13

8:28pm Mon 30 Sep 13

blade stall says...

Call me naive if you will, but if the bank of ireland bank rolls a firm it first scrutinises the business plan... what gives it the right to jump ship and fire sell its assets to the highest bidder?? Surely its a two way deal.... times are tough surely it should share the burden of carrying the company until it at least breaks even?? I mean when times are good they are happy to take the repayments??

Its just off loaded the firm without a cursory glance at the casualties left behind. Im not familiar with park resorts but you can bet they wont have the same proffessionalism as the guys at natland. The lake district market is a much more niche/high calibre market than the stack em high sell em cheap parks on the east coast i wonder how they will make the transition to it?? And i again wonder where it leaves the private owners on the parks....
Call me naive if you will, but if the bank of ireland bank rolls a firm it first scrutinises the business plan... what gives it the right to jump ship and fire sell its assets to the highest bidder?? Surely its a two way deal.... times are tough surely it should share the burden of carrying the company until it at least breaks even?? I mean when times are good they are happy to take the repayments?? Its just off loaded the firm without a cursory glance at the casualties left behind. Im not familiar with park resorts but you can bet they wont have the same proffessionalism as the guys at natland. The lake district market is a much more niche/high calibre market than the stack em high sell em cheap parks on the east coast i wonder how they will make the transition to it?? And i again wonder where it leaves the private owners on the parks.... blade stall
  • Score: 6

5:06pm Tue 1 Oct 13

shirtbox2003 says...

these people aren't interested in the owners of holiday homes or the staff,just profit.another thing to ask is how can a loss of £75 million be justified.this is another case of irresponsible bank lending.i am surprised they even got this figure with the economy as it is because the site charges on these places are extortionately high and people must want to leave in droves,thus the lower value figure. sign of the times.good luck to all concerned.
these people aren't interested in the owners of holiday homes or the staff,just profit.another thing to ask is how can a loss of £75 million be justified.this is another case of irresponsible bank lending.i am surprised they even got this figure with the economy as it is because the site charges on these places are extortionately high and people must want to leave in droves,thus the lower value figure. sign of the times.good luck to all concerned. shirtbox2003
  • Score: 1

1:38pm Thu 3 Oct 13

jshep80 says...

It's ok because apparently Pure Leisure will give all of the staff jobs. Not sure how much truth there is behind this.
It's ok because apparently Pure Leisure will give all of the staff jobs. Not sure how much truth there is behind this. jshep80
  • Score: -5

1:49pm Thu 3 Oct 13

MrsT06 says...

Just to clarify NOBODY that is facing redundancy have been offered a job with pure leisure!!!
Just to clarify NOBODY that is facing redundancy have been offered a job with pure leisure!!! MrsT06
  • Score: 6

1:55pm Thu 3 Oct 13

jshep80 says...

I figured as much
I figured as much jshep80
  • Score: 4

7:02pm Thu 3 Oct 13

blade stall says...

Baffled why pure leisure never bought the group back.
Baffled why pure leisure never bought the group back. blade stall
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

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