A California company backed by wealthy investors has purchased Gaillardia Golf and Country Club in an all-cash deal that will rid the elite golf club of its heavy debt load.
A courthouse auction to sell off Gaillardia Golf and Country Club scheduled for February was called off this week after Newport Beach, Calif.-based Concert Golf Partners revealed that it had purchased a second mortgage on the property from First Liberty Bank and reached a settlement with Gaillardia's former owner, the Arkansas-based private equity firm Herrington, Inc.
Concert Golf had already purchased the first mortgage on Gaillardia from Bank of the Ozarks in August.
Peter Nanula, chairman for Concert Golf, declined to disclose the terms of the settlement, but said the company would almost immediately begin reinvesting in Gaillardia by making needed repairs at the clubhouse and updating its furnishings.
Repairing the clubhouse's leaky roof, which was damaged a few years ago in a hailstorm, was one of Concert Golf's first priorities, he said.
“We have successfully recapitalized the country club,” Nanula said. “It's always been a fabulous club. It was just wrongly capitalized. The club is now debt free with a long-term, stable future.”
A group of Gaillardia members had been expected to bid against Concert Golf at a public auction next month.
Attempts to reach Jeff McDougall, owner of the Oklahoma City-based JMA Energy Co. and one of the Gaillardia members leading the group considering a bid on the property, were unsuccessful on Thursday.
A few professional golf course operating companies also had expressed casual interest in purchasing Gaillardia, said Ford Price, managing partner of Price Edwards & Co. Price has been acting as receiver for Gaillardia since last year, when Bank of the Ozarks and First Liberty Bank moved to begin foreclosure proceedings against former owner Herrington Inc.
There was no need to continue with the auction after Concert Golf bought out both mortgage holders on the property and reached settlement with Herrington, Price said.