Case study

Pure Cottages Group: Successful buy and build strategy

Premium holiday cottage business trebled number of properties under management during two year private equity partnership.

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Sector
  • Travel & leisure

Pure Cottages Group is a collection of five luxury holiday rental agencies and was formerly known as Lakelovers.

Employees: 45

Deal type
  • Management buyout
Exit type
  • Trade sale
Exit date

01/01/2020

Founded in 1977, Pure Cottages Group (formerly Lakelovers) is a property management and lettings agency specialising in premium holiday cottages in the Lake District and further afield across the UK.

The Windermere-based firm manages more than 1,500 holiday properties providing an end-to-end property management service that includes marketing, maintenance and bookings support, alongside bespoke legal, financial and regulatory advice, through its network of high-street branches.

Acquisition trail

Lakelovers secured the support of LDC in December 2017 when the firm supported a management buyout led by CEO Paul Liddell.

Paul has overseen the growth of Lakelovers since he acquired the business in 2000 and since then has successfully built a reputation for managing and letting premium holiday cottages in sought-after locations. Pure Cottages Group now accommodates thousands of new and repeat customers every year.

LDC’s investment and support gave us the confidence, expertise and financial firepower to pursue an ambitious acquisitive growth strategy.”
Paul Liddell, Founder and CEO
Pure Cottages Group

Expanding beyond the Lake District

Since securing the support of LDC, Paul and his team have capitalised on the growing trend for ‘staycations’ and launched an acquisition trail that has driven scale across the Pure Cottages Group portfolio. Our Value Creation Partners also worked closely with management to help optimise the group’s online presence and its own digital channels through a new digital transformation strategy which improved the online purchasing journey for customers and increased sales.

In 2017 Lakelovers managed 500 holiday properties in the Lake District. Today, 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, during its partnership with LDC.

In January 2020 Chester-based Sykes Holiday Cottages, the UK’s leading independent holiday home provider, announced it had agreed to acquire Pure Cottages Group.

I met with 19 private equity houses and LDC stood out to me for various reasons that have over the last twelve months have come true. They ignited the thoughts of growth we had with spreading the brand we already had throughout the country.”
Paul Liddell, Founder and CEO
Pure Cottages Group

Paul Liddell talks about how private equity is supporting Pure Cottages Group’s acquisitive growth strategy

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