MBO of TLH Resort

Torquay Leisure Hotels Limited, one of the UK’s leading specialist resort hotel groups, has completed a management buy-out.

Founded in 1948 the business is a unique leisure asset comprising four hotels with a total of 438 bedrooms and apartments on a seven-acre estate. The resort facility has numerous bars and restaurants on site and boasts an extensive leisure complex which includes indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa, gym, indoor bowling greens, eight ballrooms with fully sprung floors, ten-pin bowling alley, children’s soft play area and amusement arcade.

This diverse mix of attractions means the complex is very popular with group bookings, particularly users of the dance halls and bowling facilities, as well as enjoying a significant volume of “retail” trade from non-guests. For example, the health club has 1,300 private members.

The management buy-out was led by TLH Resort’s Managing Director, Jason Garside, with the backing of Connection Capital and Santander.

Isca Ventures acted as the lead corporate finance adviser within the transaction with legal support from Ashfords (Management team/Newco), Gateley (Investor) and Foot Anstey (Bank). The exiting shareholders were advised by PKF Francis Clark and OTB Eveling.

Commenting on the buy-out, Jason Garside said, “This transaction marks our confidence in the business and the management team are looking forward to the next chapter in the development of the resort. Above all, this will help us to continue to provide our customers with the best service and quality facilities.”

Joining the Board, Stephen Catling from Connection Capital said “We are delighted to back this strong management team, with its intimate knowledge of the company and the market sector, in taking full control of this well-established business. With its choice of hotels catering to different customer tastes and its array of leisure facilities, TLH has differentiated itself from the competition by maximising peak summer holiday bookings and out-of-season and local trade alike. This gives it extremely high forward trading visibility and occupancy levels all year round.”

Mark Champion, Partner at Isca Ventures added: “We were delighted to put this transaction together. TLH Resort is a good quality local business with a strong management team, with all the ingredients in place to continue its impressive track record.”

The quality of the advice we received from Isca Ventures was top notch. Their Partner team was instrumental in the successful completion of every stage of this transaction

Jason Garside, Managing Director, TLH Resort