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Sun 14 Nov 2010 11:54 AM

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Dubai royal family, Indian millionaire eye deal for UK's Pontin's

The emirate's leading family and Bhanu Choudhrie said to be looking at deal for loss-making holiday camp business

Dubai royal family, Indian millionaire eye deal for UK's Pontin's
Dubais Royal Family is reported to have formed a partnership with Indian millionaire Bhanu Choudhrie to buy Pontins.

Dubai’s Royal Family is reported to be in talks to buy Pontin’s, the UK holiday camp chain that went into administration on Friday.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the emirate’s leading family has formed a partnership with Indian millionaire Bhanu Choudhrie to buy the business.

The deal, reported to be worth up to £15m ($24m), will be completed through Choudhrie’s investment vehicle C&C Alpha Group. The company will hold discussions with administrator KPMG on Monday, the paper reported.

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

If completed, the deal will save 850 jobs.

Pontin’s was founded by Fred Pontin in 1946. At its peak, it spanned 30 seaside holiday camps around Britain, but its popularity has waned over recent years.

The company will continue to operate as normal, KPMG has said.

Dubai, the second wealthiest emirate, has substantial overseas assets, bought through its state-controlled investment companies, including Istithmar World, Dubai Group and Dubai International Capital.

Assets include the luxury retailer Barneys New York, the UK-based form Alliance Medical, and UK hotel chain Travelodge, as well as the European aluminium maker Almatis Holdings.

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D Gourlay 9 years ago

Can't help thinking that they are buying in for all the wrong reasons?

Red Snappa 9 years ago

Laudable to invest in saving 850 UK jobs and even better if the parent company had an Irish shareholder.

Just a minor observation, are there not a considerable number of bills yet to be settled floating round the Dubai economy before taking another investment. Still if a trip to the UAE is a trifle beyond the purse of the average Pontins holidaymaker, they'll be helping the exchequer indirectly.

Presumably, Pontins went into administration in the first place because of a distinct fall in the customer numbers as holiday style preferences change. Exactly how do you revive an out of favour traditional British holiday camp business?

Nevertheless, long live the lovely legs and nobbly knees competitions down by the pool. Good morning campers, the water temperature is 6 degrees and there's a baby crying in chalet number 12.

Ah memories of Trabolgan, Cork come flooding back, a confession that surely eclipses carbon dating as a methodology.

Andy 9 years ago

Hmm together with the report that Dubai Group didn't pay their loan installments, it's a strange attitude, if correct