CBRE Advises on Multi-Million Acquisition of Dunham Leisure

North West – 4th October 2010 – Leading commercial property adviser, CB Richard Ellis, has advised on the acquisition of two well-established Scottish caravan parks, owned by Dunham Leisure, to a private equity-backed team in a multi-million-pound deal.

Acting on behalf of private equity house, RJD Partners, and Yorkshire Bank, CBRE advised on the transaction of Dunham’s two five-star rated caravan parks located on the eastern coast of Scotland, Thurston Manor and Pease Bay. The 175-acre Thurston Manor park is situated near the historical coastal town of Dunbar, while the popular Pease Bay resort is a renowned surfing spot in Berwickshire.

Originally owned by leisure and property entrepreneur, Dennis Dunham, and other members of his family, the parks were acquired by a buy-in team, comprising chief executive Graham Hodgson, finance director Andrew Wall, and operations director, Bev Dixon. Hodgson and Dixon previously led the private equity-backed MBO of South Lakeland Parks in June 2006, before the business was successfully sold in December 2007.
Julian Such, associate director in the Leisure and Alternative Investment team at CBRE, commented: “This acquisition has been one of the largest transactions of a privately owned group within the UK during 2010. The purchasers are highly experienced and will undoubtedly draw upon these collective skills to further develop the parks.

“Whilst the caravan sector has not been without its casualties of recent times, we are still witnessing a continued demand for a variety of parks throughout the UK with a number of operators actively looking to build upon their existing portfolios. The ‘staycation’ market appears to be holding its own with many holidaymakers either purchasing static caravans and lodges or spending summer holidays at home rather than abroad. This phenomenon has had a positive effect upon many parts of the industry and the economy as a whole”.

Frank Bulman, partner at RJD Partners, said: “CB Richard Ellis worked as a part of the acquisition team and provided property, business and financial due diligence. Their experience and understanding of the sector provided in depth analysis of the existing operations at the properties together with an assessment of the proposals set out by the purchasers”.