Indian millionaire to buy British holiday firm

Sunday, November 14, 2010

LONDON - An Indian millionaire is in talks to buy Britain’s holiday camp chain Pontin’s for up to 15 million pounds.

Bhanu Choudhrie, through his family’s investment vehicle C&C Alpha Group, has teamed up with the Dubai royal family to look at buying the iconic business. The C&C Alpha Group will hold discussions with Pontin’s current administrator KPMG Monday, according to the Daily Mail.

Pontin’s went into administration Friday, putting up to 850 jobs at risk, along with the holidays booked by Britons at the company’s five sites — Brean Sands in Somerset, Camber Sands in East Sussex, Pakefield in Suffolk, Prestatyn Sands in Wales and Southport in Merseyside.

Choudhrie said: “We want to keep the management team in place and expand the business.”

The entrepreneur said he had looked at the business six months ago when Pontin’s chief executive Ian Smith was searching for potential investors.

“We walked away from the deal, even though we travelled to two sites and spent 100,000 pounds on due diligence,” Choudhrie said about the previous talks.

Jane Moriarty, joint administrator at KPMG, said: “Everybody should get their holidays. We fully expected a lot of interest in Pontin’s - it’s an iconic British brand.”

The 3,000 holidaymakers currently at its five camps would not be affected, said Graham Parr, chairman of Pontin’s.

Filed under: Economy

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