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10 bidders lined up to buy Pontins; Rivals Butlins had shown interest.

Byline: BEN TURNER

TEN bidders were today waiting to hear if their offers for Mersey holiday park operator Pontins would be accepted.

The development cames as administrators revealed the Southport-based firm collap sed with debts of more than pounds 47m.

KPMG said the number of firm offers meant it had high hopes the iconic firm would be sold as a going concern.

The 64-year-old company crashed into administration last November.

It runs five UK sites including Ainsdale, near Southport, and Prestatyn, in North Wales.

At one stage up to 60 potential buyers were jockeying for a slice of the business. But that number has now been whittled down to 10 serious would-be rescuers.

Rival operator Butlin's was reported to have shown an interest but is not believed to be one of the final 10.

KPMG said the level of secured credit debt was pounds 44m and the level of unsecured debt stood at pounds 3.6m. All employees have been paid wage arrears, holiday entitlement and the pension scheme is up to date.

KPMG restructuring director and joint Pontins administrator Rob Croxen said: "All employees, customers, suppliers and the various stakeholders involved in Pontin's have rallied throughout the administration process.

"Clearly this is a tough time for all concerned. But the level of support really reflects the goodwill the brand has earned over its long history.

"We have received a great deal of interest in the business and should be in a position to make an announcement in the coming weeks. We are confident of being able to conclude a sale."

email news@liverpool.com

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FOR SALE: Iconic holiday brand Pontins is on the market
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 6, 2011
Words:277
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