Gleneagles becomes latest major venue to be sold

Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham July 1, 2015 12:02

Gleneagles, host of the Ryder Cup last year and the G8 summit in 2005, has been sold to Ennismore, the owner of the designer-budget brand, the Hoxton, in a surprise move.

The sale is the latest in a long line of major golf club sales to have been sold in the last 18 months – joining the likes of Wentworth, Turnberry, Fairmont St Andrews and Lough Erne Resort, which were all sold in 2014, and The Belfry, which was sold in 2012.

04-09 gleneagles PGA Centenary - 2nd Green

The five-red-AA-star, 232-bedroom Gleneagles hotel in Auchterarder, Perthshire, had been placed up for sale shortly after the 2014 Ryder Cup with a guide price of more than £200 million. Ennismore is believed to have outbid rivals, including KSL Capital Partners, owner of The Belfry, to secure the trophy property, which has been bought from drinks giant Diageo for an undisclosed sum.

Sharan Pasricha, founder and chief executive of Ennismore, said: “We are delighted to be acquiring the iconic Gleneagles hotel, which is one of the world’s most prestigious and recognisable venues.

“We plan to operate Gleneagles as a standalone business – alongside the Hoxton – to ensure that its management team can preserve the special appeal of this Scottish landmark.”

Ennismore will retain the existing Gleneagles management and workforce, headed by managing director Bernard Murphy, while investing a significant figure across the 850-acre estate comprising three golf courses, the two-Michelin star restaurant Andrew Fairlie, and the rpa by Espa with 18 treatment rooms.

Pasricha also pledged to retain the distinctive Gleneagles culture, service and brand established over its 91-year history: “We will be proud guardians of this asset, ensuring that the service-levels and visitor experience for which Gleneagles is renowned are preserved and enhanced in the years to come,” he said.

The acquisition of Gleneagles represents a change of direction for Pasricha, who has retained the look of the original Hoxton hotel at new sites, with bare brick walls, tatty leather sofas and Soho House-operated food and beverage outlets throughout.

Diageo will continue to have a relationship with Gleneagles, which will see its brands, particularly its Scotch whisky drinks, available at the hotel.

Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo said that the company decided to sell the hotel as it was not part of its core business. “Following the success of the Ryder Cup we feel this is an appropriate time to realise value through this transaction. We wish Ennismore and all the staff at the hotel a successful future.” Diageo acquired the property in 1984, three years after it was sold by British Rail to a consortium of British businessmen for £10 million.

In the year ended June 30, 2014, Gleneagles achieved a turnover of £43.5 million and an operating profit of £2.6 million.

VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead said: “We are delighted that Ennismore will be the new owners of the Gleneagles Hotel, and look forward to welcoming this new and significant investor to Scotland.

“Following the success of the Ryder Cup last year and the G8 summit in 2005, Gleneagles has established itself as one of Scotland’s most iconic resorts, delighting visitors from across the world with its commitment to quality and excellence – something we are sure Ennismore will strive to continue.”

 

Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham July 1, 2015 12:02
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