Investigative reporters at the Telegraph have discovered that a massive loan was taken out by the new Chinese owners of Wentworth Club to finance the £135 million purchase from former owner Richard Caring.
Reignwood Group, who are aiming to reduce the membership of Wentworth to just 888 members, a lucky number to Chinese, are asking members to pay £100,000 to rejoin the club. a debenture which has no guarantee of being resold.
The discovery that Reignwood’s directors took out a $155 million loan (£110 million) from Siam Commercial Bank to fund the purchase has fueled the row netween the owners and club members.
The members complain that the Bejing based conglomorate has saddled them with crippling debt that makes no financial sense. The interest on the loan could amount to $5 million when Wentworth’s profit last year only amounted to £3.5 million.
Mr Ni Songua, the Vice President of Wentworth Club has said this week that “protestors are sending the wrong signals to overseas investors in the UK”.