British restaurateur and night club owner Richard Caring has sold Wentworth golf club in Surrey, a suburb of London, to Beijing-based Reignwood Group for £135 million.
Wentworth, founded in 1926, features three 18 hole golf courses and the 9 hole par-3 Executive Course. The golf club is the headquarters of the PGA European Tour and hosts the BMW PGA Championship every year.
Caring, who bought the club in 2005 and has had a multitude of offers to sell the club, told The Evening Standard, “I have always looked for an owner with integrity, a recognition of the iconic nature of Wentworth, an understanding of the special place it holds in so many people’s hearts, an owner who wants to develop the club ever further, improving on what is already a masterpiece, someone with knowledge and experience of the sport and with premium quality international connections and last, but not least, long term vision.”
Dr. Chanchai Ruayrungruang, who founded Reignwood Group in 1984, is the ideal buyer, saying, “Reignwood has a long history in golf development, a profound respect for excellence in every form and deep interest in East-West cooperation.”
“As a world famous golf institution, Wentworth is a key strategic acquisition for our rapidly growing luxury lifestyle division, whose unique culture we are dedicated to preserving and whose exceptional expertise will inform our golf operations across Asia,” Dr. Ruayrungruang added.
Reignwood Group has interests in hotels, soft drinks, healthcare, aviation, finance, and construction. The company also owns the 10 Trinity Square development in Beijing.
British chancellor George Osborne said of the deal, ““Today’s announcement that Reignwood Group is investing £135 million in the UK to buy Wentworth, one of our most prestigious golf clubs, demonstrates the growing relationship between our two countries.” He continued, “Strengthening co-operation between Britain and China is not only good for China, but good for UK jobs and investment too, which is why it’s a key part of our long-term economic plan.”
image credit: ashley coates