Concert Golf acquires Philmont Country Club in Penn.

March 6, 2017
By Jack Crittenden
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Concert Golf Partners has acquired Philmont Country Club, a historic member-owned private club in the north Philadelphia suburbs. The deal was unanimously approved by the club's Board of Directors and approved by a 95 percent vote of its members on Feb. 28.   "This recapitalization achieves everything we have been trying to do on our own for the last 5 years," said Glenn Meyer, club president. "We needed capital from our excess land for improvements, and we needed professional management." Annual member dues will be frozen for the next 2 years and Concert will invest more than $4 million into immediate capital projects. Originally founded as an all-Jewish club in 1906, Philmont Country Club is a 36-hole country club on 295 acres. It has two championship golf courses, 10 Har-Tru tennis courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool and a 58,000-square-foot clubhouse with a ballroom. The Board had been in talks with the township, developers and homebuilders for the last 5 years, seeking to sell 60 acres on its South Course to enable development of 150 new homes — to generate nearly $10 million of capital for needed investments in the club facilities.  But the process of getting approval proved a challenge.  Meyer struck a recapitalization deal with Concert Golf Partners to provide the same $10 million for his club in two stages: the first $5 million immediately to pay off the club's debt and fund urgent capital projects this year; the second $5 million when Concert Golf completes the entitlements and sale process for the 60 acres. "Member-owned clubs often struggle to manage the long-term process of extracting value from their excess real estate," said Peter Nanula, chairman of Concert Golf.  "It takes capital, it takes development expertise, and it is difficult to make these decisions among 300-plus voting members. We can do it all more quickly for the members with our own capital and a streamlined decision-making process." Nanula said capital investment will include extensive bunker renovations and tree removal; new swimming pool upgrades; outdoor dining; and new HVAC and utilities infrastructure. "Philmont CC is a great club with a top-rated golf course and a dedicated membership, but it had too much real estate and not enough capital," Nanula said. "All of these capital and real estate issues are now solved."  Concert Golf Partners is a boutique owner-operator of private clubs based in Newport Beach, Calif. Formed by Nanula, the founder and CEO of Arnold Palmer Golf Management from 1993 to 2000, Concert Golf has amassed $150 million of long-term equity capital to invest in and upgrade large-scale private clubs located in major metro areas. Concert Golf is unique in operating as an all-cash buyer with a dedicated fund, which, Nanula said, allows it to acquire or recapitalize clubs and subsequently invest in the properties.  Concert Golf has acquired 15 clubs nationally, including longtime member-owned clubs such as White Manor Country Club in nearby Malvern, Penn., Blue Hill Country Club in Boston, and Crestview Country Club in Wichita, Kan. 

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