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SBD Global/August 6, 2012/Facilities

U.K. Golf Course Belfry Bought By U.S. Private Equity Firm

The Belfry, the Warwickshire golf course and resort that was formerly part of the business empire of one of Ireland's richest families, "has been sold to a U.S. private equity firm for an undisclosed sum," according to Zoe Wood of the London GUARDIAN. The 220 hectare (550 acre) course was owned by bankrupt former Irish billionaire Sean Quinn's son, Sean Quinn Jr., who paid £186M ($291M) for the course in '05. KSL Capital Partners of Denver declined to say how much it paid for the Belfry, which has hosted the Ryder Cup four times. Ownership "had reverted to banks that backed Quinn" and were thought to be owed about £100M ($156M). The vendor was "an affiliate of the Quinn Group" (GUARDIAN, 8/3).

FORAY INTO EUROPE: The FINANCIAL's Janie Manzoori-Stamford reported that the hotel's new owner is American investment firm De Vere Group. The group was recently acquired by KSL Capital Partners and "specialises in travel and leisure business and has a long history of investing in golf resorts." Its purchase of the Belfry "marks KSL's first foray into Europe." An extensive renovation of the property, involving all the bedrooms, public areas and meeting spaces, "will now be undertaken." For De Vere, the addition of the Belfry "will be a boost" to the newly created De Vere Hotels and Village Urban Resorts division -- which operates alongside De Vere Venues -- under CEO Robert Cook. It will "particularly enhance De Vere's golfing facilities," which are currently at 11 of its hotels and venues, with 16 championship courses (FINANCIAL, 8/5).
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