Rockspring looks to sell off eight of its caravan parks

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The Independent Online

Rockspring, the property investor which manages €7.5bn of assets, has put eight caravan parks in central and northern England up for sale.

Chartered surveyor Humberts Leisure has invited bids for Rockspring's North Dales chain, in and around national parks from Derbyshire to Northumberland.

Rockspring bought the portfolio from Lakeland Leisure estates in a £40m deal in 2007. It thought that the highly fragmented market offered consolidation opportunities.

Parts of the portfolio have since been sold off, so the current estate looks quite different from four years ago. As a result, Rockspring is not yet clear what price it is willing to accept. Humberts is believed to be currently valuing the parks.

Rockspring does believe it is an opportune time to sell, as caravan parks have boomed in the recession and its aftermath. More people are taking holidays in the UK, attracting investor interest in the sector.

The mid-market private equity house Graphite Capital also believes it is a good time to sell caravan parks and is thought in the final stages of selling Park Holidays UK. The 25-strong chain is valued at £220m, £90m more than Graphite paid for it in 2006.