Britannia Hotels has secured the purchase of Pontins, two months after the holiday camp business went into administration.
Alex Langsam, Britannia's chief executive, said the deal would safeguard the jobs of 850 staff, most of who are based at Pontins' five holiday parks at Brean Sands, Somerset; Camber Sands, East Sussex; Pakefield, Suffolk; Prestatyn Sands, North Wales and Southport, Merseyside, as well as improve the existing facilities.
It is believed Britannia, which has built up a group of 36 hotels in the UK after rescuing many distressed properties over a period of 30 years, paid around £20m for Pontins, which had fallen into financial difficulties owing £44m to the banks.
Langsam said that Pontins - founded in 1946 by Sir Fred Pontin - held a treasured place in the hearts of people and represented an important part of British heritage.
"We intend to build on all those things that have appealed to countless generations of visitors: family entertainment, wholesome fun and exceptional value," he said. "We believe there is a growing demand for traditional seaside holidays and we are prepared to back this judgement with considerable investment."
Rob Croxen, restructuring director at KPMG and joint administrator, said that the deal will breathe new life into the Pontins brand.
"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," he said. "We're really pleased that Britannia, a leisure operator with a proven track record, has clinched the winning bid, ensuring Pontins lives on as a destination for holidaymakers."
By Janet Harmer
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