Crown Golf has announced that it has appointed Matthew Lynwood as property director, following its acquisition of American Golf UK. Mr Lynwood joined Crown Golf in November 2004 from Whitbread plc. He will be responsible for overseeing property development in an organisation that is now Europe’s largest golf club owner operator.
Crown Golf acquired American Golf UK from American Golf Corporation and NGP Realty Sub in December 2004. The combined group now operates and professionally manages 55 golf courses at over 31 properties across the UK comprising in excess of 6,000 acres, with 27,000 members and 1,500 employees.
Crown Golf was advised by Chantry Corporate Finance, Chesterton HMH and DLA. AGC and NGP were advised by Close Brothers Corporate Finance and Wiggin & Co. The purchase price is thought to have been in the region of £40-45 million.
Having been engaged in various leisure property roles in recent years, including management positions with Whitbread, Esporta and easyGroup, Matthew Lynwood commented, “The enlarged Crown Golf portfolio contains many exciting opportunities to improve the asset value of the individual sites, benefiting not only the golfer and the member, but also the group as a whole. There are a number of short and long term possibilities to create extra value, all of which will be investigated.”
Commenting on Mr Lynwood’s appointment, John Weir, founder and chief executive of Crown Golf, said, “Matthew is a key appointment in completing the operations team that will take this group to the next level. He is a good fit for the company and has the skill set and experience to underpin our investment and acquisition strategy going forward.”
American Golf UK was established by AGC in 1993 to manage and operate golf courses in the UK. Prior to its acquisition by Crown Golf, it was the largest golf operator in the UK with 44 golf courses over 23 properties, primarily located in the south east around London. American Golf UK operates a diverse portfolio of golf course types, including private membership clubs, country clubs and public pay & play courses.
Crown Golf was established in 1994 to put together a group of owned and operated golf courses in the UK and grew through merger and acquisition to become the third largest operator in the country with 11 golf courses across 9 properties. The Crown Golf courses are predominantly private members clubs and are regionally spread from Merseyside down to Winchester in Hampshire.
Crown Golf www.crown-golf.co.uk