Orange County Business Journal

Balboa Bay Club Sale Completed

Mark Mueller Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The sale of International Bay Club Inc., the parent company of the Balboa Bay Club & Resort and the Newport Beach Country Club, has been finalized, according to the buyers.

Irvine-based private equity company Eagle Four Partners and Pacific Hospitality Group LLC, an Irvine-based owner and manager of hotels, bought the International Bay Club for an undisclosed price.

The properties last year were estimated to be worth close to $170 million.

The 15-acre Balboa Bay Club & Resort includes a 160-room resort hotel, a landmark private club, a 130-slip marina and 145 apartments on Coast Highway along Newport Beach Harbor.

The Newport Beach Country Club is near the Fashion Island retail center, and hosts the annual PGA Champions Tour’s Toshiba Classic.

Richard H. Pickup and his family members—most longtime Newport Beach residents—head up Eagle Four Partners. Pickup was a major shareholder and director at Epicor Software Corp. in Irvine prior to its sale to London-based Apax Partners last year for $976 million.

Pacific Hospitality, led by chief executive Tim Busch, owns and operates a number of California properties including the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa and The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa Valley.

The deal was first announced in early May, and closed on May 31, according to the buyers. The sale required the approval of the city of Newport Beach, which leases land occupied by the clubs on a long-term basis.

The ground lease for the Balboa Bay Club runs a little more than $2 million annually, according to city documents.

A prior deal to sell the two clubs to Chinese-based energy and transportation entrepreneur Winston Chung fell apart earlier this year, after Chung reportedly had difficulty getting money out of China to close the sale.