Drayton Manor theme park rescued from administration
The Staffordshire venue will be taken out of the hands of the Bryan family for the first time in its 70-year history.
Drayton Manor theme park has been rescued by a French leisure giant after falling into administration.
The Staffordshire venue will be taken out of the hands of the Bryan family for the first time in its 70-year history after appointing administrators from PwC on Monday.
It said the administrators have now sold the company to the UK arm of Looping Parks, which runs 15 leisure parks across the UK, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Spain and Portugal.
In the UK, the group already runs West Midlands Safari Park and Pleasurewood Hills near Lowestoft.
The deal will secure the long-term future of the theme park and its 599 employees.
The administrators said the business was weighed down by “exceptionally challenging trading conditions”.
Mike Denny, joint administrator and PwC director, said: “In February, Storm Dennis forced the park to close unexpectedly, whilst its planned reopening in March was delayed due to Covid-19.
“These factors combined exacerbated cash flow pressures on the group.
“The purchasers will be working with the existing management team to continue to grow and develop the business, we wish them every future success.”
Laurent Bruloy, chief executive officer of the Looping Group, said: “We are thrilled and proud to welcome Drayton Manor Park and its talented team to our group.
“I would like to commend the Bryan family who has, over three generations, been developing the park and made it one of the most beautiful references of our industry in the UK.
“We aim to continue the story and support Drayton Manor’s development with the same entrepreneurial DNA and values that we share whilst keeping the strong local anchorage of the resort.”
William Bryan, managing director at Drayton Manor Park, said: “For us, finding a buyer who would protect jobs was key, as was finding one who would continue to operate and develop the Drayton Manor Park our guests know and love.
“Looping Group’s commitment towards a very ambitious investment plan and its pledge to reinvest profits primarily back into the park, made it a natural and very appealing fit for us.
“The Bryan family was always committed to making the park one of the UK’s leading attractions and, under the Looping Group, we look forward to develop the family-friendly offering for many years to come.”
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