European Camping Group acquires Vacanceselect

2 min reading time

Published on 16/02/23 - Updated on 16/02/23

ECG acquiert Vacanceselect

The French Competition Authority has conditionally approved the acquisition of the Vacanceselect group, owner of the Tohapi brand, by the European Camping Group, a major actor in the outdoor hotel industry.

The Vacanceselect group owns the Vacanceselect and Tohapi brands and the Vacanceselect, Canvas Holidays and Selectcamp platforms, while European Camping Group (ECG) owns the Homair, Eurocamp, Roan, Marvilla and Palmier Océans brands in France, as well as the CampingVision platform.

As part of its expansion into the European market, particularly in France, European Camping Group had been targeting the Vacanselect group, a well-established French outdoor accommodation actor, since July 2022. The takeover has now been completed following the decision of the French Competition Authority, which has authorised the transaction, albeit with a number of conditions to prevent the risk of harm to competition.

These risks concern, among other things, the markets for the operation of campsites at local level. Indeed, the Competition Authority considered that the transaction raised risks of harm to competition in the two catchment areas surrounding the Les Prés du Verdon campsite and the La Croix du Vieux Pont campsite.

Thus, it stressed that "the transaction was likely to reduce competition given the position of the new entity after the transaction, and was likely to lead to price increases or a reduction in the diversity of supply to the detriment of the consumer".

In order to resolve the competition concerns identified, ECG undertook to dispose of a campsite in the Prés du Verdon area and to enter into a contract with a third party campsite for the operation of 27 pitches in the La Croix du Vieux Pont area.

However, the Competition Authority does not consider that this transaction will have any repercussions on competition at national level "given the moderate market shares of the parties and the presence of a very large number of national actors, such as the Capfun, Yelloh! Village, Siblu and Sandaya groups".

This is a significant acquisition which may nevertheless reshuffle the cards in the outdoor hotel sector, a sector which has undergone significant change in recent years due to the evolution of its offer, the arrival of new actors including investment funds, and the numerous takeovers which have given rise to increasingly powerful groups. As a reminder, the private equity firm PAI Partners acquired ECG in 2021.

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