Private equity firm swings into German golf

Waterland Private Equity Investments is adding to its golf-related interests by acquiring a majority stake in GolfRange. The firm is looking to make the game more accessible and affordable by opening more courses in urban areas.

European firm Waterland Private Equity has acquired a controlling stake in Munich-based GolfRange, intending to expand the business with new golfing facilities.

Waterland, which specializes in backing growth plans at smaller companies, said it planned to build nine-hole courses and acquire additional nine and 18-hole facilities to add to GolfRange’s nine clubs in Augsburg, Berlin, Bremen, Dortmund, Hamburg, Munich and Nurnberg.

The deal partners said they plan to make golf more widely accessible and affordable in Germany by providing courses in densely populated areas. Fifty five thousand people use its existing facilities, the partners said.

Jorg Dreisow, principal at Waterland, added in a statement that the golf market in Germany was growing.

Waterland manages €1.4 billion ($2.1 billion) of equity and already has an interest in golf-related assets having invested in Golf Management Group in the Netherlands in 2003. In addition to sports-related assets, the firm owns health clubs in the Benelux countries and Germany, as well as private retirement and nursing homes in Belgium. It did not reveal the value of the investment in GolfRange.

Waterland has offices in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.