Consumer & Retail
Private Equity

Springboard Corporate Finance is delighted to announce that it has advised long-standing client, Vitruvian backed, Sykes Holiday Cottages on the transformative acquisition of Forest Holidays.

Forest Holidays is an owner and operator of environmentally sensitive cabins set across Britain’s forests and has 12 forest locations with many in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These include the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park in Scotland and opening later this year in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales.

As part of the combination, Forest Holidays’ existing institutional investor group, led by Phoenix Equity Partners and including LDC, realised their successful investment.  Forestry England, Forestry and Land Scotland and Natural Resources Wales will divest their legacy minority stake.

The acquisition of Forest Holidays aims to accelerate Sykes Holiday Cottages’ ambition to become a prominent UK-focused holiday group with a diverse range of unique rental accommodation.

Sykes Holiday Cottages, whose platform provides access to more than 22,500 holiday homes, is the UK’s fastest-growing holiday cottage rental agency. The business is backed by Vitruvian Partners.

Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “As the UK’s leading provider of woodland accommodation, Forest Holidays is the perfect complement to our existing holiday cottage rental business, offering our respective customers an unrivalled choice and quality of accommodation across a variety of settings. We’ve been impressed by what Bruce McKendrick and his team have achieved and are excited by our common purpose with a focus on environment, local and rural communities at the core of our businesses. It’s also a transformative acquisition for Sykes Holiday Cottages which creates a UK-focused multi-brand holiday group with market-leading technology, service and product. Looking ahead, we’re ideally placed to fly the flag for UK tourism and showcase the very best our islands have to offer from coast to country.”

Bruce McKendrick, chief executive of Forest Holidays, added: “Graham Donoghue and his team’s commitment to a strong purpose is impressive and we are hugely excited by the opportunity to take this ambition forward together.”

Sykes Holiday Cottages was advised on the deal by Springboard Partners Simon Ward and James Bailey, Director Matthew Guest, Assistant Director Tom Hammond and Executive Claudia Haywood. Simon commented “Sykes Holiday Cottages has been a client of Springboard for many years and it was an absolute pleasure to partner with the team there to deliver this key deal.  The development of  the business has been massively impressive and the Forest Holidays transaction is set to accelerate this still further. ”

What our clients say

Michaela Davies, Corporate Development Director - Sykes Holiday Cottages

“We have built a great relationship with the Springboard team over many years and were delighted with the support we received from them on this milestone acquisition for Sykes”