Oce®nico Group has announced its acquisition of the five renowned golf courses of Vilamoura – The Old Course, Victoria, Pinhal, Millennium & Laguna – from Lusotur Golfes.
The new deal makes the Oce®nico Group the major player in Portugal’s golf tourism market, with a golf and property portfolio worth over €2 billion. It will now own seven of the Algarve’s leading golf courses (five at Vilamoura plus two at its Amendoeira resort near Silves), which are expected to account for over a third of the Algarve’s golf business by 2008.
Oce®nico Group has also signed an agreement with Darren Clarke, who will work with them as the touring pro for Vilamoura over the next three years, helping to promote the resort and its golf facilities. The deal will also see him compete in the Portuguese Masters.
One of the world’s top golf resorts, Vilamoura is the jewel in Portugal’s golfing crown, attracting over 200,000 players in 2006 and returning profits of approximately €6 million. One of Europe’s largest privately developed tourist resorts, Vilamoura was first launched in the 1960’s by Andre Jordan, president of the board of directors of Planfipsa SGPS, which owns Lusotur Golfes.
Started by Simon Burgess and Gerry Fagan in 2000, the Oce®nico Group is already recognised as one of the leading developers of four and five star leisure, beach and golf resorts in Portugal. Its luxury Amendoeira golf resort, which features golf courses designed by Nick Faldo and Christy O’Connor Jnr, will open in early 2008, and it recently announced its new Royal à“bidos resort on the Silver Coast, with Severiano Ballesteros designing the 18-hole course.
It is also the first tourist resort developer to work in the Azores, purchasing Azores Golf Islands (formerly Verde Golf) from the Azores Government last year. It is anticipated that Oce®nico Group’s activities in the Azores will result in approximately €700 million in new investments in the archipelago over the next seven years.
Commenting on the Vilamoura acquisition Simon Burgess, director of Oce®nico Group, said, “This is a major step in the continued growth of the Oce®nico Group within the international golf market. We are now the only company able to offer golf on a choice of seven courses in The Algarve, all of which will be managed to the highest standards.
“Lusotur Golfes has created a fantastic experience for golfers and their families and we are committed to building on this, with an on-going programme of enhancement for the courses and their facilities.”
Oce®nico Group has appointed Troon Golf to manage operations at all of the Vilamoura courses. Troon already works with Oce®nico Group in the Azores and at the Amendoeira resort, and will be responsible for all aspects of course maintenance, operations and facilities.
Certified as a Green Globe Destination for its approach to sustainable, environmental tourism Vilamoura has grown into an all-round tourist resort, offering a wealth of facilities for golfers and non-golfers. Built around a 1,000-berth marina, Vilamoura offers luxury accommodation, together with water sports, an international casino and numerous bars and restaurants.
Darren Clarke added, “Oce®nico has a reputation for high quality and attention to detail – elements that are key to the successful running of a golf course. I am delighted to be working with them to support the developments being planned at Vilamoura, which is one of my favourite golfing resorts. The choice and class of courses here is hard to beat, and I am looking forward to being part of its future success.”
Oce®nico Group www.oceanicogroup.com