Blackstone quashes Center Parcs sale speculation with £1bn refinancing and capital for a fifth park
Blackstone, the US private equity firm, has begun a £1bn refinancing of Center Parcs, the forest village holiday business, ending speculation of an imminent sale and providing much needed capital to build a fifth UK park.
The refinancing comes five years after Blackstone took Center Parcs private, and is believed to value the Nottingham-based leisure group in the region of £1.5bn. The move comes nine months after speculation that Blackstone was either going to sell Center Parcs' property to M&G or float it as a real estate investment trust.
As part of the refinancing, The Sunday Telegraph understands that Blackstone, which has come under pressure in recent weeks as a result of its previous involvement in Southern Cross, is injecting further equity into the business to allow it to open a fifth UK site. Discussions with a small syndicate of banks, thought to include the Royal Bank of Scotland, are already believed to be underway.