Center Parcs owner will provide ‘interim assistance’ for holiday parks if required

Operator of holiday parks also extends closure of its Irish facility in Co Longford

A “subtropical” outdoor pool at a Center Parcs

A “subtropical” outdoor pool at a Center Parcs

 

Brookfield Asset Management, the Canadian fund that owns Center Parcs, says it is prepared to prop up the holiday parks operator, if required, during the Covid-19 crisis.

Center Parcs has also announced it is extending the closure of its Irish facility in Co Longford.

Center Parcs hosted a conference call with bond investors on Tuesday, during which it outlined its liquidity position, including its ability to pay interest to noteholders while Britain and Ireland remain under effective lockdown.

Martin Dalby, the chief executive of the UK holiday park group, told investors that Longford Forest, which it had previously announced would close until March 29th, would now stay shuttered until Thursday, April 16th.

However, the news was subsequently overtaken later on Tuesday by the Government’s announcement of the extension of lockdown restrictions until Sunday, April 19th.

Mr Dalby and his chief financial officer, Colin McKinlay, also walked investors through Center Parcs’ cash resources and its ability to generate further liquidity while under lockdown.

Mr McKinlay said the group, which runs five parks in Britain plus its sole Irish park, had £35 million (€38.2m) of cash on its balance sheet ahead of last weekend. It also has access to a £90 million undrawn debt facility.

It told bondholders it has “sufficient headroom” to keep within borrowing covenants.

Zach Vaughan, a senior executive from Brookfield, also told noteholders on the call that the fund was “prepared to provide interim assistance during this challenging time if it’s for the long-term benefit of our investment”.

Mr Dalby also referenced the fact that the Longford Forest facility was not part of Center Parcs’ bond structure.