Fast Solutions, Immediate Results

After a number of loss-making years, the owners of this freehold proprietary members club were looking for an exit. Cornerstone Golf were appointed to operate the club, turn the business around and prepare it for sale – all in the space of 6 months.

Situation

The owners of this 20-year old, 140-acre mid-market proprietary members club in South East England wanted to find a managed exit for the business. They had endured several years of the club making a loss, and it was time for change.

Cornerstone Golf were appointed to run the £560k turnover club and manage the sales process through to completion. But there were immediate challenges to confront first.

The golf course was in poor condition, general operating standards were not in keeping with the club’s positioning, and there was no ongoing, proactive sales activity. The EBITDA was declining and unable to support the desired exit price of £1.5m. A fundamental change was required.

Response

With fast solutions needed to produce immediate results, Cornerstone Golf:

  • Changed the management personnel
  • Re-positioned the club, in consultation with the management team
  • Introduced minimum operating standards and weekly auditing
  • Introduced weekly sales reports, and heads of department and all-team meetings
  • Started a new works programme for the golf course and re-allocated department budgets
  • Appointed a new sales manager, with an incentivised sales programme to build forward bookings
  • Introduced an online booking system for golf days, green fees and functions.

Once changes had been made to day-to-day operations, Cornerstone took over the role of liaising with prospective buyers, managing the creation of a data room and all operational DD. Once a buyer had been identified, Cornerstone managed the TUPE process for the existing owner, and following completion, the handover process to the new owner. During this time, Cornerstone professionally managed all communication with the members.

Business Outcomes

  • Club taken to market and sold within six months
  • Sold on the back of a P&L bridge showing an improved track of turnover growth of 10% and EBITDA growth of 61%
  • 20% YoY growth in forward-booked golf day, function and event business
  • 12% YoY growth in green-fee revenue
  • Renewed membership base, and increased retention rate compared to previous years
  • Reserve sale price achieved

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