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Local golf courses sold to mainland company

Date Posted: 2007-02-01

Golfers at two Okinawa courses may or may not be able to tell the difference, but both are under new ownership this month.

Okinawa Country Club in Nishihara Town and Nakagusuku Golf Club have changed hands, and are now owned by Orix, Japan’s largest leasing company. Both Orix officials and local golf course owners refused to discuss how much was spent to purchase the two courses.

“The names of the golf courses and the company names are not going to change,” says an Orix official discussing the ownership change. He says Orix now owns 100% of the stock from the two golf courses and country clubs.

Orix says it will retain the existing staffs from both the Nakagusuku Golf Club and Okinawa Country Club. He has assured employees business will continue exactly as it always has.

It took 16 years to get the land deals approved to create the Nakagusuku Golf Club course. Shortly after its opening in 2003, heavy rains created mudslides, severely damaging the course. The company has spent ¥75 billion to restore the course.

The sale was triggered by Bank of the Ryukyus, which had issued loans to the Nakagusuku Golf Club, but had never been able to get its money back. Five companies, including several from overseas, has approached Bank of the Ryukyus about purchasing the course, but the bank went with Orix after receiving its offer to pay the bank ¥12 billion against the old loans.

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