Leisure giant sold for reported £2.4bn

Center Parks Elveden's pool today ANL-140408-144217001
Center Parks Elveden's pool today ANL-140408-144217001
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Staff at Center Parcs in Thetford Forest are being reassured that it is “business as usual” after the sale of the leisure giant.

The holiday parks business, which runs five sites across the UK including one at Elveden Forest, has just been sold by its owners Blackstone to the Canadian property giant Brookfield.

The cost of the deal has not been revealed but is reported to be £2.4 billion.

Center Parcs has operated Elevden Forest for about 26 years and it was rumoured its now former owners had been considering plans for a revamp of the facilities.

A Center Parcs spokesman said: “We are speaking to staff at Elveden Forest about the change of ownership.

“There will not be any immediate changes and it is very much business as usual.”

Martin Dalby, chief executive of Center Parcs, said: “This marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Center Parcs.

“Brookfield has demonstrated a real understanding of our business and I am absolutely convinced that we can work together to achieve our strategic goals.”

Ric Clark, chief executive of Brookfield Property Group, said: “Center Parcs’ villages are high-quality.

“Although these resorts are producing steady streams of cash flow we see compelling opportunities to grow the business and enhance our investment returns.”

The Elveden Forest camp was the second UK holiday village to be opened by Center Parcs on August 4, 1989.

It employs about 1,400 staff and since its opening has welcomed more than 10 million guests.

It was the first of the five Center Parcs sites in the UK to get a water cable ski – in 2008 – and to get a tropical cyclone water ride, in 2012.