Arcis takes ownership position in Eagle Golf, closes on CNL deal

Arcis Equity Partners announced Oct. 1 that it is recapitalizing Eagle Golf, the 20th largest management company in the world. Blake Walker, CEO and managing partner of Arcis, will serve as chairman and CEO of Eagle Golf, while Joe Munsch will continue to run the day-to-day operations as president.

Eagle, which operates 29 golf courses, will take on the management of properties acquired by Arcis as part of ithe purchase of CNL Lifestyle Properties’ golf portfolio. Arcis announced it closed on that deal on Sept. 30 for $306.5 million. The acquisiton included 46 golf properties, and Arcis expects to closeon two additional CNL golf properties for $13.5 million before the end of the year. 

“With Arcis’ support, Eagle is now poised to expand its reach throughout the United States and into the private club market,” Munsch said. “Arcis’ investments over the past 14 months are a testament to its commitment to both golf and value creation.”

Eagle Golf, previously known as Evergreen Alliance Golf Ltd., managed as many as 88.5 courses before it started shedding contracts and leases in 2010. That included 43 CNL-owned courses that Eagle leased for 20 years, starting in 2009. It exited many of those leases, including 22 that Fore Golf Partners took over in May 2012.

Munsch, a 35-year veteran of the public golf and private club industry, acquired Eagle in 2008. Prior to that, he held senior-level positions with some of the biggest players in the business, including ClubCorp, Golf Enterprises Inc. and American Golf Corp.

“Eagle presents an exciting opportunity to back a high quality management team and to continue making investments in the golf sector,” Walker said. “Eagle is a best-in-class operator with an established track record and strong customer relationships. Going forward, Arcis will continue to invest to support the growth of Eagle’s existing business and to develop a broader, full-service management platform.”

Arcis did not disclose terms of the deal. Arcis is backed by funds from Fortress Investment Group, a $65 billion investment management firm. One of Walker’s first purchases was the 63-hole Brightstar Golf Group Portfolio. Including the 48 properties purchased from CNL, Arcis has added 73 golf assets to its portfolio since making its first acquisition in July, 2013.

“It is hard to imagine a better strategic fit for Arcis than this unique and irreplaceable portfolio of geographically diverse properties, many of which are long-established and represent strong, market differentiated brands," Walker said about the CNL acquisition. "Arcis is committed to re-investing in the portfolio and improving the quality of its properties through the funding of impactful capital projects and enhanced service levels.”

Editor note: This story was updated on Oct. 3

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