Pinewood-owner Aermont joins list of Center Parcs suitors

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The investment firm which controls the Pinewood film studios empire has joined the list of bidders circling Center Parcs, the upmarket chain of holiday villages.

Sky News has learnt that Aermont is expected to table an indicative offer for Center Parcs, which could cost a buyer more than £4bn, this week.

A deadline has been set on Tuesday for initial bids.

Aermont’s interest adds it to a list including Singapore’s Government Investment Corporation (GIC), which has teamed up with KSL Capital Partners, a private equity investor; and CVC Capital Partners, the buyout giant.

Blackstone, Center Parcs UK’s former owner, and Antin, an infrastructure fund, are also considering bidding.

Center Parcs trades from six sites in the UK and Ireland, and has enjoyed buoyant trading since the lockdowns triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company has been owned by Brookfield Property Partners, the Canadian property giant, since 2015.

Brookfield has hired Bank of America, Barclays and Eastdil Secured to manage the sale.

The resorts chain boasts one of the British leisure industry’s best-known brands, drawing millions of visitors annually to its five UK sites and the latest addition to its portfolio, at Longford Forest in Ireland.

Center Parcs’ UK and Ireland operations are owned separately to the European business that also trades under the brand.

The brand dates back to 1968, when the first village opened in the Netherlands.

Aermont declined to comment.

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