New owner for Hayling family marina
- Wed 31st Jan 2007
Sparkes' Marina, had been owned by the Rizzi family since 1974, but has been bought by giant MDL Marinas for a rumoured £7m to £8.5m. The buy-up means there are just five independently-owned marinas within The News/BusinessWeek circulation area, with the lion's share owned by either MDL or Premier Marinas.
The marina has always been popular, and its 180 berths are usually full during the summer months.
The Rizzi family declined to comment, but the deal is believed to have been too good to turn down.
It will not be leading to any redundancies.
MDL Marinas said that it would be looking at ways of updating the current facilities at the marina, including installing WiFi, which is standard at all of MDL's UK marinas, though it won't lead to an expansion in the number of berths because of its location near Chichester Harbour.
MDL's interest reflects the huge growth in the industry along the south coast.
MDL Marinas is known to have been looking at Sparkes for a number of months, with the opportunity first having arisen at about the time of the Southampton Boat Show.
For MDL Marinas the prospect offered further expansion along the south coast, and it is now Europe's largest marina group, owning and operating 19 major marinas and boatyards and, as a result, managing more than 6,000 berths.
Mike Glanville, who is now managing Sparkes for MDL, said: 'Its location is key for us. It's a successful marina and it's got a great reputation that will benefit from the investment we can deliver.
'For MDL this means we've now got 19 marinas and it increases our cruising options. In terms of acquiring Sparkes we have acquired a loyal customer base.
'And it fits into the profile of our business – a warm and friendly welcome which we pride ourselves on at all our sites.'
The Rizzi family was advised by law giant Blake Lapthorn Tarlo Lyons.
Manoj Styche-Patel, who leads the Portsmouth corporate team said: 'This is the latest in a series of local business transactions which we have advised on in the last three months, reflecting an active market in the region, and leading to a very busy period for us.'
By forum user, HIbot