Talks poised to take caravan parks out of private equity firm's control

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The Independent Online

Talks to restructure Park Resorts, the ailing private equity-backed caravan group, are believed to have reached a critical juncture, sources close to the situation have said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was drafted in by a consortium of banks led by Lloyds Banking group, is thought to be finalising details of a possible debt for equity swap that could see GI Partners lose control of the firm. Chris Smith, a director at Lloyds from the firm's inherited HBOS integrated finance division, is leading the banks in their discussion with GI.

GI Partners bought Park Resorts for £440m in 2007 in a highly leverage deal that left the company with around £350m of debt. The private equity company was forced to inject £15m of equity into the business last year after a strategic review.

It replaced the company's management in December bringing back David Vaughan who led a team that founded Park Resorts in 2001 in a buyout from Bourne Leisure.

Spokesmen for both GI Partners and PWC declined to comment.