Blackstone to sell stake in Center Parcs

The private equity and real estate giant is reportedly to offload a majority share of its £1.4 billion (€1.56 billion; $2.1 billion) UK leisure business, Center Parcs.

According to a report by the Estates Gazette, Blackstone is sounding out institutional investors worldwide about buying into at least 75 percent of the holiday park business, which has four locations.

The firm is in the throws of forming a private investment vehicle for investors to buy into, providing them with a bond-like income generated from the cash-flow of the parks.

Center Parcs is one of the best known holiday park operators in Europe targeting the year-round, short-break holiday sector.

Blackstone purchased Center Parcs in 2006 in two separate deals. It paid £205 million for the operating company and £900 million for its real estate.

Center Parcs operates parks in Cumbria, Suffolk, Somerset and Nottinghamshire.

According to the report, Center Parcs has performed well, despite the malaise in the wider economy, maintaining a 96 percent occupancy level last year as income increased by more than 50 percent.

Blackstone has also extended Center Parcs’ £1 billion of debt until 2013.