Fortress Acquires Japan’s Largest Golf Operator
Fortress, a SoftBank Group affiliated investment fund, has decided to acquire Japan’s largest golf course operator for around 400 billion yen ($3.5 billion).
Accordia Golf operates about 170 golf courses in Japan, Japan’s largest golf course operator. Fortress, which also operates hotels in Japan, intends to gain synergy effects by sharing customers with Accordia and thus raise its corporate value.
Fortress will acquire Accordia as well as the holding company of its group company Next Golf Management, formerly Orix Golf Management, from MBK Partners, an investment fund based in Asia. MBK made Accordia, which had been listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, a wholly owned subsidiary through a takeover bid in 2017.
In 2018, MBK also took over a golf management company under Orix, creating a holding company to operate the companies.
Accordia is expected to acquire other golf courses and driving ranges. Fortress operates hotels under brand names such as MyStays Hotel Management acquired in 2012, and the companies are likely to send customers to each other, partly by allowing hotel guests to use the golf courses.
- Accordia is expected to purchase additional driving ranges and golf courses after deal-close. The company already accounts for 12% of Japan’s golf market.
- Fortress is expected to go through an initial public offering or sell equity in the coming years to recoup its investment
Accordia’s predecessor company was founded in 1981, before Japan’s bubble economy inflated the value of assets, including golf course memberships. Since the 1990s, when the company was owned by Goldman Sachs, it has expanded by buying golf courses that have been in financial trouble.