Failed private schools and struggling conference centres are being targeted by Holidaybreak which has announced plans to raise over £33m for its outdoor education business PGL from shareholders via a discounted rights issue.
Holidaybreak is a niche travel group best known for its Eurocamp and Superbreak brands and it acquired the PGL outdoor education centre business two years ago for £100m. PGL, nicknamed ‘Parents Get Lost’, caters for school students from 5,000 of the UK’s 27,000 schools.
Holidaybreak chief executive Carl Michel, says there are big investment opportunities in the now and explains he is in advanced discussions to acquire a failed conference centre to the west of London along the M4. The cost is likely to be in the region of £10m, subject to the rights issue going through. Another conference centre in north London is also being looked at, says Michel.
PGL believes the market for privately held education centres has been growing at 10 per cent per annum, due in part to a reduction in public sector funding of local education authority centres.
A PGL spokesperson tells conference-news: “The current economic environment has resulted in various investment opportunities for our education businesses, including commercial conference centres which have ceased trading. These lend themselves to education centres due to their typical size, access to sufficient areas of open land and proximity to major towns and cities.”