ClubCorp purchased by buyout firm Apollo Group for $1.1 billion in cash
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ClubCorp purchased by buyout firm Apollo Group for $1.1 billion in cash

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ClubCorp, which is the owner-operator of more than 200 private clubs including country clubs for more than 430,000 members, has been purchased by buyout firm Apollo Global Management for $1.1 billion in a surprising, all-cash deal.

The announcement comes three months after ClubCorp CEO Eric Affeld said the company would not pursue a "strategic transaction" after not receiving a sufficient bid for entire company. The company's board had continued a review of the company and was seeking a replacement for Affeld. ClubCorp has struggled to turn a profit as the company suffers under debt from a ceaseless string of club acquisitions, as well promotions to drive up membership.

Apollo will pay $17.12 per share in cash for ClubCorp, a 30.7 percent premium over its closing price on July 7. The stock had reached a 12-month high of $17.50 on Feb. 21, weeks after Reuters reported in January the company was examining a sale. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The sale was precipitated by activist investors who ultimately pressured the company for a sale. The company stock was also targeted by a short-selling firm to drive the price down after determining golf's participatory and cost issues weakened ClubCorp's position in the market.

KSL Capital, another private equity firm, had purchased ClubCorp for $1.8 billion in October 2006 and took it public in 2013.

Apollo has more than $197 billion in assets under management, which will soon include ClubCorp properties Mission Hills Country Club, home of the ANA Inspiration, as well Firestone Country Club, home of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

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