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Diageo ready to listen to offers

Ryder Cup venue Gleneagles may be sold in £200 million deal

GleneaglesGleneagles hotel has attracted a number of interested buyers who may be willing to pay up to £200 million for the Ryder Cup venue.

Johnnie Walker to Guinness company Diageo which owns the five-star hotel, said it had received a number of approaches and has asked property adviser JLL to determine the level of interest before deciding whether to sell.

The company has looked at selling the hotel on at least two occasions, but offers fell short of its valuation, the last known occasion being in 1998.

KSL Capital Partners, the US private equity firm that owns The Belfry, near Birmingham, is believed to be among those expressing interest this time.

A spokesperson for Diageo said: “Gleneagles is one of the UK’s finest luxury hotels and one of the world’s most fantastic golf resorts. We are sure there are many people who would love to own Gleneagles and have received numerous expressions of interest over the years and particularly since the Ryder Cup.

“As you would expect we have a duty to consider such interest carefully.”

The hotel opened in 1924 and was described as the “eighth wonder of the world”. It was built by the former Caledonian Railway Company and has its own railway station just minutes away, a particular asset during last year’s Ryder Cup tournament.

It has three golf courses, including the Championship course which was remodelled for the sport’s premier event. Last year the hotel also unveiled a £5m investment in its leisure facilities.

Diageo also decided to end its Johnnie Walker tournament which has been held every August.

Diageo is also considering a £150m sponsorship deal with the English FA Premiership which Barclays is relinquishing. Korean electronics company Samsung is also in the running.

However, there is a possibility that sports sponsorship by alcohol brands may be curbed after the General Election in May.

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