Private equity firm Centroid Investment Partners has acquired high profile 18-hole golf course South Springs Country Club from BGF Group in a deal that valued it at 194.5 billion won ($170.7 million) including debt.
The deal was completed last week, only four months after talks between the two sides began. Centroid Investment approached BGF last fall about the takeover as the retail giant was considering selling the golf club as part of restructuring efforts.
The golf industry has been Centroid’s main area of focus since 2018 as the industry grows at a rapid pace due to the growing popularity of the sport. In 2019, the firm attempted to buy out the 18-hole Paganica Country Club, but that deal fell through.
In the same year, Centroid Investment hired Jang Gi-chang, a golf industry veteran who previously worked at Hanwha Hotels & Resorts. He has been appointed the new chief executive of South Springs CC.
Centroid plans to construct an additional nine holes to make the most of approximately 590,000 square meters of idle land owned by the golf club. The expansion is expected to cost about 25 billion won, which would ultimately reduce the firm’s acquisition cost to 8 billion won per hole from more than 10 billion won per hole.
It plans to generate additional profits by developing logistics warehouses and resorts on the remaining empty land, capitalizing on the golf club’s proximity to Seoul and other large cities. This would also help increase the value of properties.
Centroid Investment raised a fund worth 130 billion won to finance the deal, with the rest coming from loans. The Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives is an anchor investor in the fund. (Reporting by Se-hun Jo)