Sykes Holiday Cottages is expanding its business internationally for the first time by investing in a leading holiday rental firm in New Zealand.

The move to take an unspecified majority stake in Auckland-based Bachcare gives Sykes a foothold in the southern hemisphere.

It also supports Bachcare’s ambitions to expand beyond New Zealand, where it manages 2,000 properties in 150 locations, serving more than 150,000 customers a year. 

Bachcare will continue to target the domestic New Zealand market, operating under its existing brand which founder and CEO Leslie Preston first established in 2003. 

Bachcare employs around 50 people and works with around 100 contracted holiday managers across North and South Island in New Zealand.

Sykes Holiday Cottages employs more than 500 people and last year and served more than 1.5 million holidaymakers from its head office in Chester.

Chief executive Graham Donoghue said: “It has always been our ambition to scale into new markets and, working together with Bachcare will enable us to take our first step towards further international growth.

“There are huge synergies between our business and the one that Leslie has built over the past 16 years.

“Like the UK and many other markets globally, staycations are a huge and growing part of the leisure sector in New Zealand. Bachcare has grown to lead that market through its laser-like focus on delivering an excellent experience for holidaymakers from the moment they land on the website to leaving the property at the end of their holiday.

“By working with Leslie and her team, and by learning from each other’s expertise, we are confident that Sykes Holiday Cottages can continue growing in the UK, that Bachcare will maintain its growth in New Zealand, and that together, we can enter other new markets around the world.”

Preston added: “Competing with large multi-national companies in the past has helped make Bachcare what we are – an honest, independent business that is absolutely committed to giving customers the best, full-service experience possible.

“That fits entirely with what Sykes is doing in the UK and we’re confident that, together, we can retain all that makes us unique while also benefitting from the backing of a company that is capable of helping us achieve our long-term ambitions.”