Collapsed billionaire’s caravan park firm owed its backers £308m
The investors behind collapsed caravan park firm Royale Park were owed more than £308m according to a report from the administrators.
Royale Park, which operated 29 holiday parks, across the country collapsed into administration in the summer as exclusively revealed by TheBusinessDesk.com.
More than half the parks, which offer luxury accommodation to older people, are in the South West.
It has also emerged that an investigation has been launched into the directors of business and the affairs of the company.
The company was owned by billionaire businessman Robert Bull who at one stage had made it onto The Sunday Times Rich List. According to some estimates he had a personal fortune of almost £2bn.
Details of the circumstances around the collapse of the business have been made public in report by the joint administrators at James Cowper Kreston.
And it has emerged that there were significant discrepancies in exactly how much was owed to financial backers ICG Longbow Investment.
According to the directors the investment firm was owed a total of £273,174,780. The joint administrators say the actual figure is £308,642,812.
Further details have emerged of the affair in a report filed with Companies House written by joint administrator Sandra Murray.
It has been revealed that James Cowper Kreston was initially appointed by ICG Longbow to carry out a report into Park Royale and come up with a series of options.
But circumstances changed dramatically when another investor called Sines Parks Holdings Limited applied to put several RoyaleLife parks into administration.
As a result ICG Longbow felt that it had no longer any choice and also applied to put the company into administration.
The administrators have since decided that due to the large amount of debt it is not possible to rescue Park Royale as a going concern.
Property company Christie and Co has been appointed to sell off all 29 sites on the open market.
It has also emerged that FRP Advisory has been appointed as additional administrators and is carrying out the investigation into the directors and the way the business was operated.
In her report Sandy Murray gave her reasons for the collapse of the business and the appointment of the administrators in August.
She said: “Expansion of the group was rapid and required significant working capital to fund both the land purchases and the development of sites.
“The group was impacted by covid as the supply and sales of bungalows reduced significantly leaving a cash shortfall in the group.”
Of the 29 parks which were owned by Royale Life 15 are in the South West.
There are also parks in the North West, East Midlands, South East, and East Anglia.
In July Bull claimed winding up orders against his business were “based on false claims and unfounded information” and said they were the subject of legal action.
However, in a High Court judgement by Judge Barber handed down on July 28, she refused to strike out a winding-up petition filed against a property company Bull wholly owned, Time GB Group.
The affected sites are:
Moore Lane, Warrington
Budemeadows Country Park, Bude
Dolbeare Court, Saltash
Oakleigh Court, Dolton
Regency Court, Newton Abbot
Regency Place, Newton Abbot
Christchurch Marina Park, Christchurch
Matchams Lane, Christchurch
Beacon Hill, Poole
Manor Farm Park, Poole
Matchams Leisure Park, Ringwood
Silver Mist, Ringwood
Dorset Heights, Wareham
Deers Court, Wimbourne
New Forest Court, Wimborne
Dunton Park, Royal Dunton Court, nr Brentwood
Montserrat Caravan Park, Stroud
Frensham Country Park, Churt
Milford on Sea Park, Lymington
Wickham Court, North Boarhunt
Isle of Wight:
Fort Caravan Park, Sandown
IOW View, Sandown
Reculver Court, Herne Bay
Waterways, Herne Bay
Plum Tree Country Park, Thetford
Redhill Residential Park, Watton
Sherwood Court, Newark
Ranksborough Hall Estates, Oakham