Sykes Holiday Cottages is the UK’s leading and fastest-growing independent holiday cottage rental agency with over 25 years’ experience in the business. Based in Chester, they offer a fantastic choice of holiday homes across the UK, Ireland and New Zealand – from cosy cottages for two to larger properties that sleep 20 or more.
Feeling at home with organic and acquisitive growth
- We have worked with Sykes Cottages to develop its corporate development strategy, making 12 acquisitions during our investment to strengthen the business’ presence and portfolio in strategically important regions.
- Our team have worked with the management team to create scalable PPC campaigns, optimize other channels such as SEO, and develop greater brand awareness with the business launching mobile app My Sykes as well as their first TV advertising campaign to support continued expansion of their customer base. Sykes enjoyed a record year in 2019 with bookings up 26 per cent year-on-year, taking 1.6m people on holiday.
- Sykes took its first step in growing the business internationally after investing in the leading holiday rental firm in New Zealand, Bachcare, in 2019. The move marked a new avenue for further expansion for the business, with plans to enter other new markets around the world.
- Their hard work was recognised at the North West BVCA Management Team of the Year Awards, for Large Company, marking the team’s progress since investment and signalling great things for their future.
- In 2019, we successfully sold Sykes to another private equity firm. Adam Holloway, Livingbridge, stated: “Sykes Holiday Cottages is a fantastic business and we are delighted to have supported its development and growth… Sykes has succeeded in driving the use of digital technology to deliver outstanding service to property owners and customers.
- We reinvested in Sykes as a minority shareholder in 2020, enabling us to continue to support Sykes and its management team as it embarks on the next stage of growth
“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.”
Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages
Founded by Clive Sykes
Investment by Livingbridge. Executive team strengthened with the appointment of a new CEO, planned to allow Clive Sykes to step back. Additional appointments include a head of HR, and a head of customer operations
Voted best large UK holiday cottage booking company for the fourth year running at the British Travel Awards
Recognised at the Northern Tech Awards as one of the fastest-growing tech-based companies in the country
Named as one of the top 1000 firms to inspire Europe
Sykes acquire West Country specialist operator, Cornish Cottages and Devonshire Cottages
Launch of mobile app
Finalist at The Amazon Growing Business Awards
Recognised in GP Bullhound's ‘Northern Tech Awards Top 100 Companies’
Sykes invest in New Zealand based Bachcare
Sykes win Large Management Team of the Year at the National BVCA Management Team Awards
Successful secondary sale
Livingbridge reinvests as a minority shareholder
* Sales and profits relate to Sykes Cottages Holdings Limited for the period ending 30 September 2019.