Livingbridge announces realisation of Sykes Cottages

We’re delighted to announce the sale of Sykes Holiday Cottages, the UK’s leading independent holiday home provider, to private equity firm Vitruvian Partners.

Livingbridge first invested in Sykes Cottages in January 2015, at which time the business managed 5,000 properties in the UK and Ireland and generated £17m revenue.

The business today manages over 17,500 properties, having delivered market leading organic growth and completed 12 acquisitions underpinned by a highly effective digital transformation strategy.

Sykes enjoyed a record year in 2019 with bookings up 26 per cent year-on-year, taking 1.6m people on holiday. The business saw profits (EBITDA*) during the year to the end of September 2019 rise to over £20m (£12.6m 2018) on the back of sales of £68m** (2018: £52.1m).

In April, Sykes took its first step into the international market by acquiring a majority stake in Bachcare, which is the leading holiday rental firm in New Zealand with over 2,000 properties.

Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages, said:

“We’ve transformed the business within the last five years with the unwavering support from the Livingbridge team, and we are now in a strong position to scale further in what is a booming staycation market. Investing in our people, our service and technology platform will help us attract more holidaymakers and property owners, as well as helping us to continue our acquisition plans both in the UK and overseas.”

Adam Holloway, Partner at Livingbridge, said:

“Sykes Holiday Cottages is a fantastic business and we are delighted to have supported its development and growth. In Sykes we saw a wonderful opportunity to transform a business by maximising its digital potential in a fast-changing consumer landscape. Sykes has succeeded in driving the use of digital technology to deliver outstanding service to property owners and customers. Sykes ranks favourably against any holiday home rental business we have seen globally, and it’s great to have a UK based market leader with a rapidly growing and highly skilled workforce.”

* The company reports profitability as EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) as the most accurate measure of underlying profitability, excluding for example items such as financing costs of private equity investment, amortisation on the goodwill, intangibles as part of the acquisition and any costs classified as exceptional due to being one-off in nature.
** Sales and profits relate to Sykes Cottages Holdings Limited for the period ending 30 September 2019.


Sykes Cottages

Founded in 1991 by Clive Sykes, Sykes Cottages has nearly 25 years’ experience in matching customers to their perfect holiday home. Our investment has supported the business to increase its coverage and portfolio, completing over 12 acquisitions including its first international acquisition in New Zealand’s Bachcare.


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