CARMEL, CALIF., JAN. 2 -- Landmark Land Co. announced today that it will sell some of its most famous resorts -- including the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club and Kiawah Island -- to a joint venture formed by a Japanese real estate company and a group of Landmark managers.
Proceeds from the $739 million sale will be used to bolster the financial condition of Landmark's savings and loan subsidiary, the company said.
The deal, which must be approved by thrift regulators and stockholders, includes some of the best-known golf courses and resorts in the nation. In addition to the Palm Beach, Fla., and Kiawah Island, S.C., properties, they include Oak Tree Golf and Country Club in Oklahoma; and Carmel Valley Ranch, Moreno Valley, Mission Hills, La Quinta, PGA West and Oak Valley, all in California.
The buyers also have options to purchase additional land potentially worth $106 million.
The Daiichi Real Estate Co. Ltd. of Tokyo is putting together the joint venture. The principal members will be some of Landmark's senior management, including founder Gerald G. Barton, Ernest O. Vossler and Joe W. Walser Jr., along with Asian and European investors.
"From the start, this company will be in a strong position and is committed to developing and operating world-class golf-centered communities on a conservative financial basis," Barton said in a prepared statement.
"Throughout our operations, we intend to maintain and expand the style and high standards that are the hallmark of Landmark resort, golf and residential properties.
Landmark put its real estate up for sale last year in an attempt to bring its New Orleans-based thrift subsidiary, Oak Tree Savings Bank, into compliance with stricter capital rules created in savings and loan bailout legislation. Landmark held its real estate through Oak Tree.
The purchase, for which the Japanese partners are providing most of the money, would be about 60 percent financed by Oak Tree. Landmark expects pretax gains of $250 million from the first part of the deal and pretax gains of $35 million if the second part is completed.