Leonard Green acquires majority stake in Troon

Leonard Green & Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity, acquired Kohlberg & Company’s majority ownership in Troon earlier this month. Leonard Green is a large private equity firm with investments in the Container Store, Shake Shack and numerous other entities. Troon is the world's largest third-party management company with golf courses across the globe. 

A purchase price was not disclosed, but sources said it is more than what Kohlberg & Company paid when it bought out Starwood Capital and Goldman Sachs in 2014. At that time, Dana Garmany, Troon’s founder and CEO, said he expected Kohlberg to hold onto Troon as an asset for five to seven years.

Since then Troon acquired Honours Golf and its portfolio of 16 courses, and CaddieMaster, a provider of caddie services. In addition, it has added management contracts, growing from 207 18-hole equivalent courses to more than 270 in its portfolio.

Garmany, who founded Troon in 1990, said the board had not sought a new investor, but that several private equity funds were making inquiries.

“We hired Morgan Stanley to field these incoming approaches” Garmany said. “They then brought what they deemed to be credible offers to us. We really liked [Leonard Green] as a future partner.”

Garmany said Kohlberg felt they had made a sufficient profit and the deal was handled quickly and quietly. Garmany remains the largest individual shareholder of the company and has a similar ownership to what he did when Starwood and Goldman Sachs were the majority owners.

Starwood invested into Troon in 1996 and Goldman Sachs in 1999. Goldman would have left in 2006 or 2007, but for the recession.

Leonard Green & Partners was founded in 1989 and works with market leading companies that are likely to grow and have world-class management in place. It has invested in more than 80 companies, including traditional buyouts, going-private transactions, recapitalizations, growth equity, and selective public equity and debt positions.

It is investing its sixth fund, Green Equity Investors VI, L.P. with $6.25 billion of committed capital.

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