Praesepe pursue coastal growth with Hunstanton acquisitions

Praesepe, part of the Gauselmann Group and one of the UK’s largest operators of AGCs, FECs and bingo clubs, has strengthened its position at the coast with the purchase of three venues in the Norfolk holiday resort of Hunstanton. The three, comprising Thomas’s Number 1, The Mint and Showboat, have been purchased from Thomas’s Entertainments for an undisclosed amount.

Announcing the acquisition, Praesepe CEO Nick Harding said: “I am delighted to be able to confirm the purchase of these three iconic Hunstanton landmarks from the business owned by well-known and highly respected industry personality Michael Thomas and his daughter Michelle, in what has been the most professional and largely effortless transaction that I have ever been involved with. Hunstanton is a popular resort that I know extremely well and for many years Michael has been regarded as Mr Hunstanton. Michael, who served the council for over forty years and was elected Mayor on no fewer than four occasions, played a major role in shaping modern Hunstanton and he has also made a significant contribution to BACTA and the UK low stake gaming and amusements sector in general. The passion that the Thomas family has for the industry shines through in the way that they have run Thomas’s Entertainments and their commitment to delivering honest, value for money, responsible family entertainment is second to none. The team of 25 staff, many of whom have worked for the family for decades, reflect these credentials and I am delighted to have inherited such a committed and skilled workforce. Expanding our seaside business is an important part of our strategic vision and we are actively looking to identify more coastal sites and to recruit more potential FEC Managers to the Praesepe fold.”

Hunstanton, with its award winning Blue Flag beach, is one of the most popular resorts in Norfolk tourism, which is the county’s largest industry sector contributing an estimated £2.8bn to the local economy (2012).

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