Barlows wraps up first Bourne deal

Barlow Lyde & Gilbert has done its first deal for the management of Bourne Leisure Group, advising on its buyout of Haven’s 12 caravan parks to form a new company named Park Resorts.`The management buyin and buyout created a company worth £46m, making it the UK’s second-largest caravan park group. David Vaughan, former managing director of Rank Leisure and Rank Entertainment, will become the chief executive of Park Resorts.`Barlows was introduced to Vaughan and his team – finance director Robert Sewell and operations director Alan Castledine – through the Slough office of accountancy firm Grant Thornton, which was already acting for the management team. Barlows has worked with Grant Thornton on buyin and buyouts before, although never for this management team.`Head of private equity and corporate partner at Barlows Roger Gregory led the team, working with assistant Ian Herbert. Gregory says: “A big part of this work was project management. We had to coordinate all the different angles and were in daily – almost hourly – contact with the other firms involved. I found Dickson Minto especially good; they were very responsive.”`He adds: “At the same time, we were running against the exclusivity deadline.”`Richards Butler advised Close Brothers Private Equity on the creation of Park Resorts, while Dickson Minto advised it on its debt and equity stakes in the resort.`Eversheds acted for Bourne and Addleshaw Booth & Co advised the Bank of Scotland Structured Finance on its £34.75m funding package.`As a result of the work, Barlows is likely to have secured a new client. Gregory says: “The management team was a joy to work for, very calm and very professional. I hope we’ll advise them again, but there are no plans at present.”