Transforming an established Dutch operator and developer of holiday parks into a high-performing market leader
In November 2016, PAI Partners completed the acquisition of Roompot, an operator and developer of holiday parks in the Netherlands.
PAI’s decision to acquire Roompot was based on the strong conviction that the asset could deliver attractive growth and improved profitability due to: its positioning as a large player in the Dutch holiday park market; its clear leadership position on attractive coastal locations, which were outgrowing the overall market; and its unique integrated business model, combining park operations and development.
Under PAI’s ownership, Roompot outperformed its peers and the Dutch leisure market, benefitting from the favourable sector trends identified at investment, and significant transformation initiatives.
Despite the Covid-19 outbreak and the short-term impact on the performance of the parks, the company’s transformation into a sought-after market leader with long-term potential led to its successful sale to KKR, which completed in September 2020.
Identifying transformation opportunities
When PAI acquired Roompot, the company had suffered long term under-investment, which had damaged the company’s image and operational performance.
Nevertheless, the investment team had the strong conviction that the company had the potential to deliver attractive growth given: its coastal locations and scale in the Dutch holiday park market; the resilience of the market, which was benefitting from the growing “staycation trend" and which was favourable to large players rather than family-operated parks, due to multiple scale advantages; the opportunity to improve park operations with targeted initiatives such as dynamic pricing or restyling.
PAI's extensive experience and understanding of consumer-facing companies made us a strong partner to support the management team in delivering these transformation plans.
sales growth (per annum)
Roompot's transformation journey
Under PAI ownership, a number of transformation initiatives were deployed to enhance the company's operations and branding including: significant investment in upgrading and expanding Roompot's parks; improving the portfolio of partner parks through terminating contracts with parks below the quality threshold while expanding the offering with new partnership parks attracted by Roompot’s brand strengths; or the implementation of Revenue Management and the development of a best-in class digital marketing and distribution platform.
Upgrading and expanding the parks
Roompot, with the support of PAI, invested c. €50 million in restyle capex in 2017-2020 to premiumise the accommodations (both through restyle and replacement) and upgrade its central facilities. Its restyling programme resulted in: a strong improvement in customer ratings; an increase in the average selling price of bookings; and a strengthening of Roompot's brand image.
In addition, it successfully completed the development and opening of two new coastal parks – Nieuwvliet (c. 570 accommodations) and WaterVillage (c. 90 accommodations).
As well as upgrading and expanding the parks, new corporate headquarters were inaugurated in June 2019 to complete the refresh of the company's operations.
Modernising the brand and development of best-in-class digital marketing
Roompot developed a best-in-class digital marketing and distribution platform with above average SEO and conversion rates, enabling the company to reach 85% of direct bookings, well above its peers, and to continuously decrease its exposure to third-party booking providers.
In parallel, a new logo was launched as the conclusion to a rejuvenation strategy initiated under PAI's ownership and as a preliminary step towards a larger rebranding process.
When the company was sold in September 2020, Roompot had been transformed to become a leading, high performing, holiday parks operator in Europe with increased market share, high occupancy levels and a growing number of bookings per year.