Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Sale saves Pontin's holiday brand

Pontin's has been sold to the Britannia Hotel Group
Pontin's has been sold to the Britannia Hotel Group

The future of holiday camp brand Pontin's has been secured after administrators announced its sale in a move which will safeguard the jobs of all 850 staff.

The holiday company, which called in administrators KPMG in November, has been sold to the Britannia Hotel Group, which owns the famous Adelphi hotel in Liverpool.

Alex Langsam, owner of Britannia, said: "The prospects for Pontin's are very exciting. Our plans will take shape without delay as we look towards developing a bright future whilst retaining the best traditions of the past. Pontin's will remain a national treasure, to be enjoyed by generations to come."

All five sites - at Brean Sands in Somerset, Camber Sands in Sussex, Pakefield in Suffolk, Prestatyn Sands in Denbighshire and Southport in Merseyside - have continued to run as normal while KPMG hunted for a buyer.

In November, KPMG said Pontin's had run out of cash because bookings had fallen drastically throughout 2010, which came as a surprise as many UK holiday companies have benefited from more people taking holidays in the UK rather than abroad because of the weak pound.

Rob Croxen, restructuring director at KPMG and joint administrator who led the sale, said: "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."

Pontin's was started when Fred Pontin opened the first Pontin's Holiday Park in Brean Sands in 1946, and is best known for its "blue coats" who offer entertainment and help to holidaymakers.

It organises entertainment for its guests featuring acts such as Keith Harris and Orville, Bobby Davro and Chico.

Britannia Hotels was founded in 1976 when the owner bought a 100-bedroom hotel in south Manchester, The Country House Hotel. The private firm now has 36 hotels across the UK, offering 7,000 bedrooms.

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