A planned merger between three Melbourne clubs has been dealt a massive blow, with one of the clubs pulling out of early discussions.
On February 3rd, representatives of Huntingdale Golf Club, Patterson River Golf Club and Sandhurst Club met to discuss the status of the Patterson River land sale, which was a critical factor in progressing with the planned merger of the three clubs. During this meeting Patterson River advised that they are not in a position to proceed with the merger until they “address, clarify and gain approval from their membership with regard to the land sale and various other options now being considered.”
In a letter to Huntingdale members, Captain David Parton explained the reasons for the termination of the merger.
“It was agreed by all parties that without the full knowledge on the direction and timing associated with the Patterson River future proposals, in particular the sale of the land development together with the quantum and timing of payments, the proposed merger discussions would be terminated.”
Patterson River will now undertake a process of holding a number of Information sessions for their members outlining the current financial state of the Club and their options for the future.
For Huntingdale Golf Club, it will be business as usual, but they will keep their eyes open for future opportunities, as Parton explains:
“In this current environment of golf club consolidation, it is the Committee’s responsibility to continue to assess any sensible opportunities that present on merit and the benefits to Huntingdale based on our 5 strategic expansion pillars. As we approach the end of our financial year I am pleased to report that we have again had a very good trading year in 2015/16 with strong membership uptake and corporate TPR sales, golf shop trading and corporate golf all above budget. We have comfortably met our first principal repayment on our clubhouse loan of $500,000 in 2015/16 and expect to make a further repayment of $700,000 in the 2016/17 financial year. This is in addition to providing for interest repayments on the loan”.
The proposed merger was announced in November last year, with the clubs intending to enter into a Heads of Agreement. As finalisation of the land sale at Patterson River did not occur, however, no HOA was ever signed.