Britannia Hotel Group steps in to safeguard Pontins

 Britannia Hotel Group steps in to safeguard Pontins

Administrators KPMG has confirmed Britannia Hotel Group is to buy Pontin’s, temporarily safeguarding 850 jobs at the organisation.

In a deal backed by the owner Alex Langsam, Britannia will pay £20 million for the holiday camp specialist.

Following the deal Langsam commented: “We are delighted we have been able to rescue the great British institution of Pontin’s.

“It holds a treasured place in the hearts of many people and it represents an important part of our shared heritage.

“Britannia brings 30 years of experience and a track record of success driven by a spirit of independence, enterprise and enthusiasm.

“A hallmark of this success has been our willingness to adopt neglected properties and make the necessary investment to restore them to their former glory.

“We do it because we enjoy the challenge, because it matters and because we do it well.”

Pontin’s

Pontin’s presently operates five holiday camps in the UK: Camber Sands, East Sussex; Ainsdale Southport, Merseyside; Prestatyn Sands, Denbighshire, North Wales; Brean Sands, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset; and Pakefield, Lowestoft, Suffolk.

The company was placed in administration in November 2010 as bookings fell sharply.

The business was started in 1946 by Fred Pontin and at one point had 30 holiday parks.

Rob Croxen, restructuring director at KPMG and joint administrator who led the sale, said: “Concluding the sale of Pontin’s to Britannia as a going concern is a fantastic result.

“The business attracted a high level of interest from a broad range of investors such as wealthy individuals, private equity houses, property developers and trade buyers. 

“We are really pleased that Britannia, a leisure operator with a proven track record, has clinched the winning bid, ensuring Pontin’s lives on as a destination for holidaymakers. 

“The deal will breathe new life into this cherished British brand.”

KPMG

Still in the UK tourism sector, KPMG has reacted angrily to a TUI Travel decision cancel its auditing contract late last year.

Europe’s largest travel group took the decision after a multi-million pound blackhole was discovered on its balance sheet.

However, two British investor lobby groups subsequently expressed alarm at the move.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) issued a scathing red top alert, making plain its deep concerns over TUI’s conduct.

Advisory group Pirc also berated TUI.

The mix-up forced the holiday operator to slash £42 million off its £443 million profits for 2009.