ClubCorp Reaches Agreement with Investors to Add Independent Directors to Board

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Last year, FrontFour Capital issued a letter to ClubCorp that criticized the company's acquisition strategy and then-depreciating shareholder value.(Image courtesy ClubCorp.)

Two independent directors have joined the board of directors at ClubCorp, Dallas, the private club company announced Friday.

The decision was reached in agreement with Connecticut-based FrontFour Capital Group LLC, owner of more than 3 percent of ClubCorp's shares.

In September, FrontFour representatives issued a letter to ClubCorp CEO Eric Affeldt that criticized the company's acquisition strategy and then-depreciating shareholder value.

The new directors are Simon M. Turner, former president of global development at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and Emanuel Pearlman, executive chairman of the board of directors at Empire Resorts.

"We welcome both Simon and Manny to the Board, and believe this Agreement represents a constructive outcome for the Company and all ClubCorp shareholders,” ClubCorp Chairman John Beckert said in a media release. “Simon and Manny have broad experience working across a wide range of industries, including travel and leisure, and have served in leadership positions at both public and private companies. Our entire Board and management team are committed to enhancing shareholder value, and we intend to leverage our two new independent directors’ unique backgrounds to advance the Company’s growth and success."

As part of the agreement, FrontFour will withdraw its director nominations and support the 2017 nominees to be presented by ClubCorp's board of directors, according to the release. FrontFour will also "abide by certain customary standstill and voting provisions."

"We are excited that Simon and Manny are joining the ClubCorp Board given their vast experience and track records," said David Lorber, a managing member of FrontFour, in the release. "We see significant embedded value within ClubCorp and believe that, as directors, these individuals will work diligently to maximize value for all shareholders. We look forward to continuing the constructive dialogue we have had with the Board and management over the past few years."

Last month, a ClubCorp strategic review committee announced the company would not pursue a sale and, instead, focus on organic growth, reinvention and acquisitions.

Also in April, ClubCorp reported its 12th consecutive quarter of growth and that Affeldt is planning to retire. His replacement has not yet been selected.

“ClubCorp has a number of initiatives underway,” Affeldt said in Friday's release. “We look forward to working together to continue our progress and consider additional opportunities to drive growth and unlock the value inherent in ClubCorp.”

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