09 May 2023
PAI Partners (“PAI”), a pre-eminent private equity firm, today announces that it has made a binding offer to acquire The Looping Group (“Looping”), a leading pan-European leisure park operator, from Mubadala Capital’s Private Equity business and Bpifrance, the French national investment bank. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Paris, Looping owns and operates 18 high-quality, local and regional leisure parks, including theme parks, waterparks, wildlife parks and aquariums, attracting over six million visitors a year. The group’s parks span eight European countries, including France, the UK, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Croatia, Germany and Portugal.
Under Mubadala Capital’s ownership, Looping has benefitted from significant growth investments to enhance its existing portfolio of properties and expand through highly accretive M&A, all while building its value proposition to customers by providing high value and affordable experiences to families in a friendly and safe environment across Europe.
PAI would partner with Looping’s existing management team to drive further organic growth and add to the group’s portfolio of leisure parks. Here, PAI would draw on its expertise in the outdoor leisure industry, which includes past investments in B&B Hotels, Roompot and European Camping Group, to further strengthen Looping’s position as the leading operator in its segment in Europe.
Looping would continue to be led by its experienced management team, including co-founders Laurent Bruloy and Stéphane Da Cunha, who would retain a significant shareholding in the business.
Bertrand Monier, a Partner at PAI Partners, said: “Looping is a young company with exciting prospects. Positioned in the resilient budget leisure segment, the group is well placed to benefit from long-term tailwinds that underpin the local leisure park market. We look forward to supporting the management team in further structuring the group for the next chapter of growth – and, importantly, to continue delivering an amazing visitor experience.”
Laurent Bruloy, CEO and co-founder of Looping, said: “We are delighted with the opportunity to welcome PAI Partners as a new investor in The Looping Group, a strategic match that would allow our group to accelerate its growth and achieve its full potential in the years to come. This transaction would benefit all stakeholders and marks an exciting new chapter as we continue on our path to becoming the undisputed European leader in regional leisure parks. I would like to thank Mubadala Capital and Bpifrance for their valuable contribution to the success of Looping over the past few years.”
Antoun Ghanem, Head of Mubadala Capital’s European Private Equity investment practice, said: “We have truly enjoyed partnering with Laurent and Stéphane, as well as Looping’s thousands of employees and millions of customers. The Looping management team has done a remarkable job in scaling the business and transforming their leisure parks to be amongst the best in Europe, including navigating a challenging COVID environment that reaffirmed the quality of the team and loyalty of its customer base. We are proud of what we have achieved together and are confident that Looping would continue to flourish with the support of PAI Partners in the years ahead.”
The contemplated transaction will be submitted to the relevant employee representative bodies of Looping and would be subject to antitrust approvals.