The 12 major golf clubs sold to foreign buyers in 2014

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 20, 2014 11:21

Wentworth Club, one of the UK’s most famous golfing venues, amazingly became one of just 12 major British golf clubs to be sold to a foreign buyer in 2014.

The home of the PGA European Tour, host of the BMW PGA Championship and location for the first ever Ryder Cup was bought by Chinese company Reignwood Investments for £135 million.

The deal came less than one month after Fairmont St Andrews was sold to US property fund Kennedy Wilson for £32.4 million and in the same year that Turnberry golf resort was sold to the American businessman Donald Trump for an undisclosed sum.

Fairmont St Andrews

Fairmont St Andrews. One of five major golf clubs to be sold to a foreign buyer in 2014


Also this year Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links near Dublin was sold to Kennedy Wilson for £24.2 million and Brehon Capital Partners bought Mount Juliet Resort in Ireland for £12 million.

In October an American business tycoon became the latest foreigner to buy a major UK golf club in 2014, when Chicago businessman Tony Saliba purchased Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland.

The five-star hotel enjoyed global exposure last year when it hosted the G8 leaders, including US president Barack Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The resort has been sold to Lough Shore Road – a private hospitality company led by US-based investor Tralee Portfolio Management, an affiliate of the Saliba Family Office.

The price paid for the Lough Erne resort, which was placed into administration in 2011, was not revealed although it is understood to have been sold for less than £8m – a fraction of the original £30m asking price.

And In November, two giant global financial institutions, Sankaty Advisors, LLC (Sankaty) and Canyon Capital Advisors LLC (Canyon), bought all six of the golf clubs De Vere owns – Cameron House, Loch Lomond; Dunston Hall, Norwich; Oulton Hall, Leeds; Mottram Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire; Slaley Hall, Hexham, Northumberland; and Belton Woods, Grantham, Lincolnshire.

“Wentworth is a key strategic acquisition for our rapidly growing luxury lifestyle division,” said Dr Chanchai Ruayrungruang, the founder of Reignwood Investments.

“Reignwood has a long history in golf development and a profound respect for excellence.”

Richard Caring, who bought the club for £130 million in 2004, said he had received several offers.

“I have always looked for an owner with integrity… an understanding of the special place it holds in so many people’s hearts,” he said, “an owner who wants to develop the club ever further, improving on what is already a masterpiece.”

Meanwhile, CBRE, the property agent that handled the sale of Fairmont St Andrews, has confirmed that there had been interest in buying the resort from around the world.

“The bidders were truly international, from China, the Middle East, the Far East and the US,” said Paul Collins, head of UK brokerage for CBRE Hotels.

“With resorts across Europe there’s an increasing level of interest.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 20, 2014 11:21
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