Orange County Business Journal

Sale of Balboa Bay Club, Newport Beach Country Club Expected

Mark Mueller Friday, August 5, 2011

The Balboa Bay Club and Resort and the Newport Beach Country Club are set to be sold to a wealthy Chinese investor, according to officials familiar with the transaction.

International Bay Club Inc., a Newport Beach-based company that owns the tony oceanfront yacht club and the nearby golf club, is being sold to Seven-One Capital Business Inc., an entity headed up by energy and transportation entrepreneur Winston Chung.

A price hasn’t been disclosed on the deal, which is set to be announced today.

Chung, founder of Winston Global Energy Ltd. in China, made waves locally earlier this year for investing at least $9 million in Brea’s Krystal Koach Inc., one of the country’s largest makers of limousines.

International Bay Club Inc. was last put up for sale about 11 years ago for a reported $74 million in a deal that was never completed.

This time around, the company could go for twice that amount if not more, according to sources.

International Bay Club is privately held. It’s owned by Beverley Ray Parkhurst, whose former husband,

William Ray, bought the Balboa Bay Club nearly 40 years ago and followed up with the Newport Beach Country Club in 1985.

William Ray died in 1991.

The Balboa Bay Club, described by the Los Angeles Times as “an exclusive setting for local millionaires

and Hollywood glitterati in the 1950s,” was built in 1948 along the Mariner’s Mile section of West Coast Highway.

It counts about 145 high-end apartments, 160 hotel rooms, and a 144-slip private yacht marina. The club got a $65 million expansion in 2003.

Balboa Bay’s membership is said to count several thousand members, and over the years has included John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, John Travolta, Jerry Seinfeld and several others, according to the club’s website.

A few miles away, next to Newport Center and Fashion Island, the Newport Beach Country Club is the site of the annual Toshiba Senior Classic golf tournament.

More details on the deal will be in the Business Journal’s edition of Aug. 8.