A consortium of investors led by Carr Golf has acquired Seapoint Golf Links in Termonfeckin, Co Louth, in a deal finalised on Friday, that wipes out €3.6 million of legacy property debts owed to US fund manager Cerberus.
The deal means the course and assets of the formerly member-owned links are to be signed over to a new Carr-led entity, Genesis Links Holdings, which has agreed a deal with Cerberus to write down the debts. The US fund last year acquired the Celtic Tiger-era loans from AIB, which originally put up the money for clubhouse improvements and other projects.
Carr Golf Services had been managing the course, which was effectively insolvent with a deficit of close to €3.6 million on the balance sheet of a linked company, Termonfeckin Limited. This company in July asked the Carr-led group to submit restructuring proposals. This was subsequently put to a meeting of members of the club for a vote.
The proposed rescue deal did not receive universal approval – about 61 per cent of Seapoint members voted in favour of it. But on Friday the final deal was agreed, including an access agreement that protects members’ playing rights and access to the course.
As part of the rescue deal, Carr Golf says Genesis will put up €1 million for further improvements to the course.
Alex Saul, the chief revenue officer of Carr Golf, said the new investors would provide “much needed investment to improve the experience for members and guests to the links”, as he promised to build a “thriving” course.
Jim McMorrow, the chairman of the links company that brought Carr on board to operate it when it was in difficulty, welcomed the deal and said it would “enhance members’ experiences”.
A rival consortium of investors and members, Saving Seapoint Group (SSG), had at one point explored the possibility of buying out the Cerberus debt with cash from members, which would have allowed them to retain ownership of the course, but such a deal never got over the line.
The course, which borders the famous Baltray golf links, was co-designed by former professional golfer Des Smyth. The club was started by local business people in the early 1990s, before later being sold to members.