The Vale Golf Club, a proprietary members’ club set in 304 acres near Worcester, and The Chase Golf Club, a proprietary members’ club set in 160 acres near Cannock in Staffordshire, have both been sold to local entrepreneurs.
The clubs were placed on the market in February 2009 by Humberts Leisure acting on behalf of Crown Golf. The guide prices were £2.25m and £1.65m respectively; the actual prices paid have not been revealed.
“We are continuously reviewing our estate,” said Crown Golf Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Lewis, “focussing on the properties which the business wishes to retain for the long term.
“Having a core business based largely around the south and the M25 has its operational benefits, and both The Chase and The Vale are geographically quite separated from the majority of our other facilities. But geography was not the critical factor in our decision to market these properties.
“Both are very profitable businesses, and we felt that they represented an attractive proposition to potential buyers. This proved to be the case. The Vale and The Chase are both staffed by excellent and loyal teams and, with almost 2,000 members in total at the two golf clubs, we are pleased that both individual buyers are committed to taking these properties forward.”
The Vale Golf Club, which is located between Evesham and Worcester, comprises a spectacular 18 hole 7,555 yard (par 74) International Golf Course; a 9 hole 2,918 yard (par 35) Lenches Golf Course; an 18 bay floodlit golf range and practice facilities; a magnificent 1,335 sq m clubhouse with conference / function facilities. The business commenced trading in 1991. The property was offered to the market at a guide price of £2.25 million.
The Chase Golf Club, which is located on the Cannock Chase some 30 minutes from central Birmingham, comprises a challenging 18 hole 6,641 yard (par 72) golf course; a 20 bay floodlit golf range; golf shop; a 4,332 sq m clubhouse (part let) with conference and function facilities. The business commenced trading in 1995. The property was offered for sale at a guide price of £1.65 million.
Paul Bille, Managing Director of MAPP Holdings Limited, said: “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of The Vale Golf Club from Crown Golf. The Company has retained all of its 30 members of staff, including the management team, and we will continue with a programme of investment to enhance both golf course and clubhouse facilities. We are looking forward to the challenge of making The Vale a great golf club for members and visitors to enjoy.”
Chris Simmons, the new owner of The Chase Golf Club, said: “My family and I were very pleased to take ownership of The Chase at the start of this month. We can see that it has been run to a high standard, mainly due to the excellent staff who we have now inherited from Crown Golf.
“I was keen to keep as many existing processes in place as possible, to ensure that the transition would be as smooth as possible for the members. Crown Golf and the agents, Humberts, were both very helpful and positive right through the whole acquisition process. We can now look to taking The Chase Golf Club forward.”
A third Crown Golf property, Eccleston Park Golf Club, which is a proprietary members’ club set in 125 acres near St Helens in Merseyside, is also on the market with a guide price of £1.65 million.
The sale of both properties was handled by Ben Allen of HLL Humberts Leisure’s golf agency team. Ben Allen said, “Both The Vale Golf Club and The Chase Golf Club have been sold to lifestyle purchasers with business interests close to each Club. The quality of the facilities and their established trading records proved to be highly attractive to the market. These two sales again confirm the strength of demand for and resilience in value of freehold golf courses. We have ongoing interest Eccleston Park Golf Club, Merseyside – the final Club that we are selling for Crown Golf – and hope to report further developments in that sale in the near future.”
Stephen Lewis ended: “These sales will enable Crown Golf to continue its policy of reinvesting in its estate. Recently we completed a £20m refurbishment of our flagship property, St Mellion International Resort, for example, and with 22 Crown Golf Academies in development across our golf club network, and many other large projects currently underway, we look forward to continuing our strong performance of recent years.”
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