Clearwater International advises Sykes Holiday Cottages on raising debt facilities to support the acquisition of Forest Holidays

Clearwater International has advised Vitruvian Partners backed Sykes Holiday Cottages (Sykes), a holiday cottage rental agency on raising debt facilities to support the acquisition of Forest Holidays, an operator of environmentally sensitive cabins across the UK.

Headquartered in Chester, Sykes provides access to over 22,500 holiday homes, and is the UK’s fastest-growing holiday cottage rental agency.

Based in Derbyshire, Forest is the owner and operator cabins set across Britain’s forests. Since the mid-1970s, Forest Holidays has invested over €120m (£100m) into Britain’s forests.

The firm has 12 forest locations with many in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park in Scotland and opening later this year in the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales.

As part of the deal, Forest Holidays’ existing institutional investor group, which is led by Phoenix Equity Partners and includes LDC, will exit the business. Forestry England, Forestry and Land Scotland and Natural Resources Wales will divest their legacy minority stake.

The acquisition of Forest Holidays aims to accelerate Sykes' ambition to become a prominent UK-focused holiday group with a diverse range of unique rental accommodation. The two businesses will be run independently by their existing leadership teams under a newly formed parent company.