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Grant Thornton seals double deal for Scottish leisure sector

Grant Thornton said there is an uptick in deal activity in Scotland as leisure, hospitality, travel, events and other sectors are ‘beginning to flourish’

Grant Thornton UK LLP’s Corporate Finance team in Scotland has advised international buyers on two acquisitions of leisure-related businesses, amid “strong” interest in the sector as it recovers from the pandemic.

Grant Thornton advised French event infrastructure specialists, GL Events, on their acquisition of Edinburgh-based Field and Lawn, and advised on the acquisition of Castle Stuart Golf Links by international golf resort developer Cabot.

Field and Lawn has four business offerings: event marquees and structures, temporary industrial buildings, placemaking and festive lighting solutions. Events include Six Nations rugby events and Christmas light displays across the country, and the acquisition will “complement” GL Event’s current offering and “enhancing” its all-year round revenue stream.

Meanwhile, Canada-based Cabot has invested in the Castle Stuart course, located near Inverness in the Highlands, which Grant Thornton said is regarded as one of the best golf courses in Scotland.

Having hosted the Scottish Open four times, Cabot’s plans for the resort include adding a second 18-hole course and building luxury homes, dining and retail facilities. Under the new ownership, Castle Stuart will be renamed Cabot Highlands.

Neil McInnes, Corporate Finance partner at Grant Thornton, said: “As we enter our first summer post-pandemic, we are really witnessing an uptick in deal activity, as leisure, hospitality, travel, events and other sectors alike, are all beginning to flourish.

“With these two acquisitions, we have seen international buyers attracted to high-quality, strategic Scottish businesses, reinforcing the continued interest from foreign investment in Scotland, and the wider UK, as a marketplace. It is not just leisure we are seeing this in, it is across a broad spectrum of sectors, including technology, healthcare and ESG.”

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