Carefree RV Resorts Seeks Capital to Fund Major Expansion
National RV Communities LLC (NRVC) is seeking to finance an aggressive acquisition plan by tapping the private equity market for up to $400 million in new capital.
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based NRVC, doing business as Carefree RV Resorts, has held informal talks this spring with potential investors and has scheduled four formal sessions this week in New York City.
“It’s an exciting time. The initial response we have been getting is phenomenal,” said David A. Napp, NRVC chairman and CEO.
The new capital would help NRVC go forward with its plan to double in size within the next five years.
Founded in 2005, NRVC is the nation’s 10th largest owner/operator of destination RV and manufactured housing (MH) communities in the U.S. and Canada with 58 communities containing more than 13,300 sites. Of the 58 properties, 46 are located in Florida. Other properties are located in Texas (4), New Jersey (3) and one each in California, Ontario, Massachusetts, Arizona and North Carolina.
Napp told Woodall’s Campground Management that his company has its eye on a number of prime parks across the U.S.
“I have a priority list,” he said. “Once the capital needed is secured, I’ll be paying some people some visits. A good number are in Florida; some are in California and Arizona. The Eastern Seaboard also represents some great opportunities, like Myrtle Beach, Cape May and Cape Cod.” He was not more specific about locations of prospective acquisitions.
“A real driving force is being on or close to water,” he added.
Historically, the company has sought properties in key destination vacation markets that have a proven history of attracting both leisure travelers and retirees seeking warm weather.
NRVC wholly owns 47 of its RV and MH communities and owns a 20% interest in the remaining 11 MH properties, pursuant to a joint venture with GE Capital (National Home Communities or NHC).
The 47 RV and MH properties total 11,500 sites with a gross market value of approximately $380 million, according to an executive summary of the NRVC operations. The 2012 budgeted net operating income is approximately $26 million, including new acquisitions.
NHC owns and operates 11 MH properties located in Florida totaling 1,800 MH sites with a gross fair market value of approximately $83 million. The 2012 budgeted net operating income of these 11 MH properties is approximately $5.2 million.
Napp projects 2012 revenues from all 58 properties to reach $56 million and operating expenses to total $24.7 million, yielding net income of $31.2 million.
He places the fair market value of the combined properties at $462 million.
NRVC is owned by its management team and Almanac Realty Investors, formerly known as Rothschild Realty Inc., a New York City-based real estate investment adviser to public and private institutional pension plans, endowments and foundations. Almanac has invested $115 million in the company since 2005.
GE Capital has provided some $190 million during its long-term relationship with NRVC, Napp added.
Napp said he and founding partner Colleen Edwards are excited about their future in the RV and MH business.
“If the first quarter is any indication, we are seeing stabilization if not a slight upswing in our business,” he said. “I think the opportunities are good out there. We have done well in the recession. We are lining up all the elements for our next level of growth. Over the last 18 months we have analyzed our business internally and decided what we need to do to double our size over the next three to four years.”
In a somewhat related development, Napp noted that Carefree RV Resorts recently partnered with Resort Data Processing Inc., which will provide property management software and reservation software.
Carefree’s principals have a 17-year track record in the destination RV resort and MH industries. They have:
- Acquired and operated 106 RV and MH properties comprising over 30,000 sites.
- Raised over $250 million in private equity and borrowed approximately $880 million in mortgage debt for acquisition financing and refinancing.
- Become one of the first groups to bring institutional capital into the RV resort sector.
- Launched three national destination RV resort brands (Encore, Sunburst and Carefree).
- Operated two park model and manufactured home sales companies with over 2,500 new and pre-owned homes sold since 1996.