Center Parcs
Center ParcsWiki Commons

Private equity giant Blackstone has rejected a joint bid from BC Partners and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) for resort operator Center Parcs.

Sky News reported that Blackstone, which owns Center Parcs, has rebuffed a £2bn (€2.5bn, $3.1bn) joint takeover bid, saying the offer undervalued the leisure resort operator.

Blackstone reportedly estimates Center Parc's value at more than £2bn.

Following the rejection, Blackstone is planning for a formal auction or stock market flotation of the company sometime in 2015, Sky News added.

Blackstone, which has been the owner of Center Parcs since 2006, previously hired investment bank Rothschild to evaluate strategic options for the business.

BC and CPP are expected to go ahead with their takeover of the leisure group, which recently reported that its newest site in Woburn Forest was trading strongly with 99% occupancy rate during the first three months after launch.

In addition, the company created hundreds of jobs across various locations during the ownership of Blackstone.

Center Parcs is in discussions with tourism authorities in Ireland over the construction of a resort there.

The company's profits have increased by 10% to £20.6m in the year to April on sales of £314.6m, up 4% from last year.

A source familiar with Rothschild's appointment told Sky News it was the logical bank to work on Center Parcs' future ownership prospects, having assisted with several refinancings of the business in 2006 and 2010.

Rothschild is expected to advise Blackstone and Center Parcs' board a further refinancing that would enable shareholders to land a big payday ahead of a sale or stock market listing.