Another month, another world famous Scottish golf course is placed up for sale
Fairmont St Andrews has become the third major Scottish golf course in the last three months to be placed up for sale.
The spectacular 520 acre estate, which hosted the Scottish Senior Open in 2010 and 2011 but is said to have been struggling in recent years, has a guide price of £37 million.
In April Turnberry, which is set to change its name to Trump Turnberry, was sold for about £35 million and in May Cameron House in Loch Lomond was put up for sale with a guide price of about £65 million.
Positioned on the coastline of St Andrews Bay, Fairmont St Andrews includes a 209-bedroom hotel plus suites, bars, restaurants, conference, leisure and spa facilities, two four bedroom manor homes and planning permission for 79 new homes. The venue also boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses, the Torrance and the Kittocks, and a cliff-edge clubhouse.
However, its operator, St Andrews Bay Development, saw pre-tax losses more than triple to £12.8 million during the year up to December 2012. According to TheCourier.co.uk, gross profits did increase by 23 percent to £3.8m that year but earnings were hammered by a £10.6m impairment on the value of the property, while its accounts show that its ‘immediate parent had breached banking covenants — casting significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern’.
The venue was bought by present owner, New York-listed real estate and private equity firm Ares Management, in 2006 — with Canadian-based Fairmont Hotels & Resorts taking over the hotel’s management. The seller said the hotel’s management would not change following the sale.
One industry spokesman said the fact that all three Scottish golf courses are set to find buyers, potentially for collectively more than £120 million, shows how strong investors think demand will be to play at premium Scottish venues after this year’s Ryder Cup, which will be hosted at Gleneagles.