Fairmont St Andrews, one of Scotland’s most prestigious hotels, has been sold to a new Hong Kong property company targeting global investments in the golf and hospitality industries.
The acquisition of St Andrews Bay Development, the five-star hotel’s holding company, marks the first investment for Great Century, which is led by lifelong golf fan CYM Chan.
Great Century is a recently formed joint venture between Chan and Hong Kong conglomerate Lai Sun Group.
Co-chairman Chan, who is a member of The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the world’s oldest membership body for the sport, describes himself as a “passionate golfer with over 30 years’ experience in the golf and hospitality industries”.
He added: “It is a privilege and an honour to participate closely in the future enhancement of this great property at St Andrews, Scotland, the home of golf.”
The luxury 520-acre Fairmont St Andrews resort includes a 211-bedroom hotel with cliff-top views, championship golf courses The Kittocks and The Torrance, a ten-treatment room spa and five restaurants and bars.
It also boasts around 3,000 square metres of conference and event space and two private manor homes, each with four bedrooms.
St Andrews Bay Development, previously owned by California-based property investor Kennedy Wilson, recorded annual profits of £1.18 million in 2018, while turnover came in at £16m.
Financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
The hotel will continue to be managed and operated by Fairmont, part of the 4,900-site Accor group, under its long-term management agreement.
Peter Lam, chairman of Hong Kong conglomerate Lai Sun Group and co-chairman of Great Century, added: “I am extremely confident about the future potential that the Fairmont St Andrews holds. I am proud to be a partner in this long-term investment.”
Great Century engaged London & Oriental, Brodies and Ernst & Young to advise on the transaction, while Knight Frank advised Kennedy Wilson.
The move comes hot on the heels of the sale of another St Andrews hotel, with Scottish group Macdonald Hotels last month completing the sale of the landmark Rusacks Hotel to Chicago-based AJ Capital Partners.
John Keating, general manager of Fairmont St Andrews, said: “This partnership marks a special day for Fairmont St Andrews, bringing together the strengths, passions and vision of Great Century, Fairmont and Accor to create greater opportunities for the hotel in the domestic and international markets.”
Marc Dardenne chief operating officer of Accor Europe’s luxury brands arm said: “Fairmont St Andrews is one of the most prestigious addresses in Accor’s portfolio and we are delighted that it has become Great Century’s first investment.” He added that the group is hoping to “build on the property’s proud heritage”.
Fairmont St Andrews will play host to the final qualifier for the 2020 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s Golf Club.