The real estate investor behind the portfolio of five-star London hotels is one of the grooms at Butlin’s, a well-known network of British holiday camps.

Sky News understands that Queensgate Investments has joined three competitors in the race to buy Butlin’s at Bourne Leisure.

Queensgate is battling Bain Capital, Epiris and TDR Capital for a group of three sites whose brand was created by its eponymous founder Billy Batlin in 1936.

City sources say they expect the network to bring in around £ 600 million.

Queensgate is managed by Jason Cove, a real estate financier, and among his investments includes Generator hostels and a quartet of hotels under the Leonardo brand.

Bourne Leisure, which also trades under the Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels brands, decided with Blackstone owner to put Butlin’s up for sale after concluding that it didn’t fit the rest of the group.

According to the brand’s official history, Mr Butlin “took pity on families staying in boring guest houses with nothing to do” during a trip to Bari.

During its heyday, Butlin’s operated from nine facilities across the UK, annually entertaining a million holidaymakers with lap competitions and glamorous grandma contests.

The brand has become such an ingrained part of the UK’s popular consciousness that it has inspired Hi-de-Hi !, a long-running BBC sitcom.

The brand was created by its eponymous founder Billy Batlin in 1936

His fortune declined with the explosive growth of opportunities for Britons to vacation abroad, but he was reborn as the pandemic sparked a holiday boom.

Other Batlin sites today are in Minehead in Somerset and Bagnor Regis, a traditional seaside town near South Downs National Park.

Through its public relations firm, Communications Group, Queensgate has not responded to numerous requests for comment.

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