It's no secret that many finance professionals—private equity, real estate or otherwise—enjoy hitting the links. Or that private equity real estate firms have historically been big investors in golf courses—witness the recent moves by Lone Star and Goldman Sachs in the Japanese markets.
But over the past several months, the trend, particularly in the UK, appears to have accelerated. In late June, London-based private equity firm Permira made a bid for hotel company De Vere, which also owns the Belfry golf course, four-time host of the Ryder Cup tournament. That same month, Apollo Real Estate Advisors acquired the St. Andrews Bay Golf Resort & Spa in Scotland, which is not only located less than two miles away from the world-renown Old Course at St. Andrews, but which also comes with two 18-hole golf courses of its own. In fact, while visiting the Old Course several months ago, golf aficionado and real estate investor Donald Trump announced plans to build a $500 million golf resort 12 miles north of Aberdeen on Scotland's northeast coast.
The fairways are getting crowded.