Hoseasons sold in �51m deal
Paul Hill, business editorOne of the best-known names in East Anglian tourism, Hoseasons, was sold today to an American travel giant for �51m.The Lowestoft-based holiday firm has been bought by Wyndham Worldwide, the group behind a series of self-catering holiday brands in Europe and the UK and the likes of Ramada, Days Inn and Howard Johnson in the United States.Paul Hill, business editor
One of the best-known names in East Anglian tourism, Hoseasons, was sold today to an American travel giant for �51m.
The Lowestoft-based holiday firm has been bought by Wyndham Worldwide, the group behind a series of self-catering holiday brands in Europe and the UK and the likes of Ramada, Days Inn and Howard Johnson in the United States.
The deal ends weeks of speculation about Hoseasons' future after it was put up for sale by its private equity owner HgCapital.
Hoseasons - which employs about 200 people at its headquarters in Raglan Road - will now form part of Wyndham's European exchange and rentals operation of more than 60,000 holiday properties in 20 countries.
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Wyndham already operates the English Country Cottages, Cottages4you and Chez Nous brands in the UK.
Geoff Ballotti chief executive of Wyndham Exchange & Rentals, said: "Hoseasons has been providing exceptional holidays at affordable prices for 65 years.
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"Hoseasons is a highly successful business and a consumer icon in the UK, complementing Wyndham's existing rentals brands in terms of product offering, customer service and values."
Roger Mountford, chairman of HgCapital Trust, said: "This is another successful investment by HgCapital that has created value for our shareholders.
"The team at HgCapital has worked closely with Hoseasons' talented management, led by its chief executive Richard Carrick, to transform this long-established business, with excellent results. We wish the company well with its new owners."
Mr Carrick added: "I would like to thank HgCapital for the help and support they have given Hoseasons over a number of years. 'We very much look forward to taking our business forward with Wyndham."
Hoseasons was founded in the aftermath of the second world war by Lowestoft harbourmaster Wally Hoseason.
But its growth to become one of Britain's leading self-catering and boating holiday firms was spearheaded by Wally's son, the late Jimmy Hoseason.
The firm was sold to then managing director Ken Gaylard in a �22m management buy-out in 1999 on Mr Hoseason's retirement. Hoseasons, which caters for more than one million holidaymakers a year, was acquired by HG Capital in 2003 in a �40m deal.