The second son of US president Donald Trump said he had “heard” a story circulating of how Turnberry’s corporate vehicle, Golf Recreation Scotland Limited, was £107m in debt.
In an interview with The Times, he dismissed it as one of the “great rumours” surrounding his family’s ownership of the South Ayrshire resort.
He insisted: “It’s insane. How can we buy a property in cash, do all the improvements in cash, then have a property in debt?”
However, the most recent annual accounts filed with Companies House show Golf Recreation Scotland Limited owes £107,152,000 to its creditors. The accounts were signed off by Eric Trump on 24 September last year. He is the company’s sole director.
According to the accounts, the money owed takes the form of loans granted by the Donald J Trump Revocable Trust, a New York-based state grantor trust. The trust is controlled by Donald Trump and Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organisation’s chief financial officer.
Eric Trump, who is executive vice-president of the Trump Organisation, gave a series of interviews to the Scottish media at Turnberry yesterday.
On 4 March, The Scotsman accepted an invitation to hold a 20 minute-long interview with Mr Trump. It too was due to take place yesterday afternoon, but was cancelled shortly before 9pm on Wednesday “due to a diary change.” The Scotsman has requested a rescheduled interview with Mr Trump.
Mr Trump’s interview with The Times also cited “company insiders” who said Turnberry did not profit from the US president’s weekend stay at the resort last July.
It comes after The Scotsman revealed how the US State Department made a series of payments worth a total of £52,477 to SLC Turnberry Limited, a subsidiary of Golf Recreation Scotland Limited.
In November, Scotland on Sunday reavealed the Trump Organisation is planning planning to build swathes of housing and luxury villas on hundreds of acres of land next to its lossmaking Turnberry resort.
Since their inception, the Trump Organisation’s two Scottish resorts have run up losses of £41.45m, and remain reliant on loans totalling £148.9m.
Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire has paid no corporation tax since its incorporation in 2005. Trump Turnberry has a £8.5m deferred tax asset that is not recognised because “there is no certainty of taxable profits in the future,” according to its accounts.