Sykes acquires Pure Cottages Group

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Sykes Holiday Cottages has agreed a deal to acquire Pure Cottages Group from private equity investor LDC for an undisclosed sum.

The deal followed speculation last year that Sykes was on the market, with offers sought around£300m.

The Pure Cottages Group is a collection of five luxury holiday rental agencies, created following LDC’s investment in Lakelovers in December 2017. Pure Cottages Group manages more than 1,500 holiday homes throughout Cumbria, Cornwall and the Cotswolds, having acquired Heart of the Lakes, Lake District Lodge Holidays, Character Cottages, John Bray Cornish Holidays and regional cleaning business, Maid in the Cotswolds.

The brands will join Sykes’ existing collection of regional flags, which include Cornish Cottage Holidays, Helpful Holidays and Menai Holidays.

Graham Donoghue, CEO, Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “The Pure Cottages Group is well established in some of the UK’s most popular holiday hotspots, so the deal bolsters our range of premium holiday homes in Cumbria, Cornwall and the Cotswolds.

“With the team at Pure Cottages on board, we’re able to give our customers even greater choice alongside local expertise. By continuing to invest in the business and grow our family of brands, we’re also supporting the long-term success of each holiday let for its owner.”

Paul Liddell, founder & CEO, Pure Cottages Group, added: “LDC’s investment and support gave us the confidence, expertise and financial firepower to pursue an ambitious acquisitive growth strategy. We added complementary property rental providers to our roster incrementally, delivering a sustainable programme of expansion that limited risk and encouraged growth. We’re now on an even stronger footing as we begin the next stage of our growth journey with Sykes Holiday Cottages.”

Last year saw rumours that Sykes was on the market, as the holiday home sector continued to consolidate. The company, backed by mid-market private equity investors Livingbridge in 2015, has  sought to pursue a strategy of global expansion, investing in New Zealand operator Bachcare last April.

The company said that it had enjoyed a “record year” in 2019 with bookings up 26% year-on-year and sales and profits rising to £68m and £20m, respectively.