Valderrama bought by Zagaleta in surprise €40 million deal

Valderrama bought by Zagaleta in surprise €40 million deal
Adam Lawrence
By Adam Lawrence

The famous Valderrama golf course in southern Spain has changed hands in a surprise deal, worth around €40 million.

Valderrama, the first course in Continental Europe to host the Ryder Cup, back in 1997, has been in limbo since the death of its founder and patriarch Jaime Ortiz-Patiño in 2013. The course’s holding company, Valderrama Group, has been acquired by the owners of La Zagaleta, a 36 hole golf and housing development in the Marbella area.

La Zagaleta’s development is located above the town of Marbella on the former estate of arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. The development has two courses, the first by American architect Brad Benz, and the second, Los Barrancos, by Britons Steve Marnoch and Jonathan Gaunt. The Zagaleta Group was established in 1991. The development extends over 900 hectares of which almost 500 hectares are green spaces, and between 2014 and 2015 the company posted accumulated profit of €14 million. The company is currently building a number of new properties for 2016. The indicative price range for these will be between €12-14 million. La Zagaleta today boasts more 230 properties on plots ranging between 3,000-10,000 sq m, valued between €5 and €25 million each.

The transaction does not immediately effect the existing Real Club de Valderrama, the golf club that plays over the Valderrama course, as it has a lease on the property valid until 2050. It does, however, include the proposed ‘Valderrama II’ development at nearby Castellar, proposed several years ago. American architect Roger Rulewich, who led the development of the original Valderrama course on behalf of Robert Trent Jones Sr, and his partner Dave Fleury were originally slated to design the new course, but there is no indication whether the new owners intend to stick with them. A spokesman for Zagaleta said the new course would be ‘designed and laid out by one of the leading and most prestigious specialist landscape architects in this field’. Sources said the new project would represent an investment into the area of €200 million over the next ten years.

Jacobo Cestino, managing director of La Zagaleta Group in Spain said: “This transaction confirms our position at the forefront of the high end luxury property market as well as connecting us to one of the world’s most prestigious golf brands. The company has not discounted the possibility of acquiring other luxury and lifestyle brands over the medium term.”