Sequoia Golf to be sold to ClubCorp for $265M

Newnan-based Sequoia Golf, which has acquired several golf and country club properties in recent months, is being sold to Dallas-based ClubCorp for $265 million, the companies announced Wednesday.

ClubCorp’s portfolio of 160 golf, country and other clubs already includes the Buckhead Club and the Commerce Club in Atlanta. It will gain 50 properties from Sequoia, including four Sequoia-branded golf and country clubs in metro Atlanta and 25 operating under the Canongate brand.

The acquisition comes as the golf industry finds itself in a rough spot with declining membership and other challenges. The National Golf Foundation recently told Bloomberg that about 400,000 players left the sport last year.

The same report said 2013 marked the eighth straight year that more courses closed than opened. Golfers also are playing fewer rounds and sales of golf clubs and accessories have declined.

Sequoia completed its latest fiscal year in June with a loss of $513,000. ClubCorp’s last profitable year was 2010. Last year the company lost more than $40 million despite higher revenue.

ClubCorp President and CEO Eric Affeldt said in a statement that combining the companies will improve efficiencies and give members more club options. Both ClubCorp and Sequoia generate nearly 50 percent of their revenue from membership dues.

President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Guerra, who founded Sequoia in 2002, will become a senior advisor to ClubCorp.

“ClubCorp is the best fit for our members, employees and partners and the right evolution of our portfolio into a strong network of clubs.” Guerra said in a statement.

Sequoia had grown through acquisitions until Wednesday’s announcement. In March, the company acquired the Manor Golf and Country Club in Alpharetta, which has the only Tom Watson-designed course in the state.

Last summer, Sequoia, which also designs and renovates golf courses, announced it was acquiring Atlanta National Golf Club in Milton, Polo Golf & Country Club in Cumming and White Columns Country Club in Alpharetta. The company said the properties were foreclosure purchases.

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