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Thu 17th Jun 2021 - Brighton Pier Group acquires North Yorkshire theme park in £5m deal
Brighton Pier Group acquires North Yorkshire theme park in £5m deal: Brighton Pier Group, which owns and trades Brighton Palace Pier, as well as nine premium bars nationwide and eight indoor mini-golf sites, has acquired the entire share capital of Lightwater Valley Attractions in a deal that could be worth up to £5m. The acquisition will be funded from a £2m extension to the group’s revolving credit facility and existing cash resources. The transaction is expected to be immediately earnings-accretive post-completion. Brighton Pier Group stated: “The total consideration is being satisfied by an initial payment of £4m in cash on the completion date (adjusted for working capital and on a debt-free cash-free basis), deferred consideration of £0.5m due at the end of October 2021 and contingent consideration of up to a further £0.5m, subject to Lightwater Valley achieving certain trading targets over the current summer. Lightwater Valley owns and operates the Lightwater Valley theme park, a leading North Yorkshire attraction, which is focused on family days out and is set in 175 acres of landscaped parkland. The park offers a variety of attractions with rides, amusements, crazy golf, children’s outdoor and indoor play areas, entertainment shows, together with numerous food, drink and retail outlets. The park also provides popular seasonal events including Hallowe’en (Frightwater Valley) and Christmas (Alice in Winterland). For its previous full year of uninterrupted trading (year ended 28 February 2019), Lightwater Valley recorded sales of £5.1m, Ebitda of £1.1m and pre-tax profits of £0.6m. As for so much of the leisure industry, the financial year ending 28 February 2021 for Lightwater Valley was heavily impacted by restrictions on capacity together with closures in relation to covid-19. In these latest statutory financial statements, the company recorded a loss before tax of £0.6m on sales of £2.4m. Ebitda before the write-off of intercompany loans was £0.4m. The total fixed assets being acquired are stated in the balance sheet at £4.1m. As the restrictions imposed by the pandemic on the UK leisure industry continue to be lifted, the board is confident Lightwater Valley’s trading will resume to normalised levels in the short term. The board believes the extensive space at Lightwater Valley provides a long-term growth opportunity for the group to develop and expand the park. This acquisition executes on the company’s stated strategy to create a growth group, operating across a wide variety of leisure and entertainment assets in the UK.” Brighton Pier Group chief executive Anne Ackord said: “I believe, together, we can develop Lightwater Valley into the premier amusement destination across Yorkshire and the surrounding areas. This acquisition continues the company’s development as a consolidator within the leisure industry and we are excited to explore further growth opportunities as they arise. I believe our businesses are ideally suited to take advantage of the pent-up demand as the UK unlocks its restrictions. The booming ‘staycation’ market is going to significantly grow UK tourism over the coming months as international travel restrictions remain in place, this provides a great opportunity over the summer for all the group’s operations.”

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