Thursday 8 December 2016

Irish investors put €222m price tag on Sawgrass

Emmet Oliver Deputy Business Editor

Published 12/04/2010 | 05:00

Goldman Sachs wants to foreclose on the Sawgrass resort
Goldman Sachs wants to foreclose on the Sawgrass resort

The Irish investors behind the Sawgrass golf resort in Florida, which chief lender Goldman Sachs wants to foreclose on, have put a value of $300m (€222m) on the property.

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Goldman Sachs is seeking to force the owners to pay property tax and local charges for the resort, which has been hit by the credit crunch and a slowdown in convention business.

Court papers show that the two companies behind the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, RQB Resort and RQB Development, used the services of PFK Consulting to have the property valued, giving a figure of $300m. However, this related to 2009 values and a more recent valuation has not been produced in court.

On Friday, Goldman Sachs applied to take over the resort and sell the assets, but this has not been granted so far. The Irish investors, who are believed to include financier Niall McFadden, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March over $193m in an outstanding loan and interest.

The 65-acre resort was where golfer Tiger Woods made his famous apology for martial infidelity. It is also the course where the PGA Player's Tournament is staged.

The owners of the resort claim it is the largest such facility between "Atlanta and Orlando''.

Revenues

The investors, believed to include many high net-worth Irish individuals, bought the facility for $220.5m in July 2006, but the credit crunch has lowered revenues. The dispute between Goldman Sachs and the two RQB companies has turned increasingly bitter over recent weeks.

Bank of America, for example, decided a few weeks ago to freeze some of the bank accounts of the resort after a dispute between Goldman Sachs, the RQB companies and Interstate, the hotel management company which operates the property.

Irish Independent

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