A Kiawah Island company that until recently owned a luxurious but financially draining golf resort in Ireland has filed for bankruptcy as it winds down its affairs.
Kiawah Doonbeg LLC reported that its total debt is $10 million to $50 million. The number of creditors was estimated between 200 and 999.
The company filed papers to be liquidated through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware this week.
Kiawah Doonbeg built, owned and operated the Doonbeg Golf Club and the Lodge at Doonbeg in western Ireland until earlier this year.
It turned over ownership of the money-losing property in January to a receiever, which sold it last month to celebrity developer Donald Trump's Trump Organization for about $20.5 million.
The bankruptcy liquidation plan was approved Tuesday by two executives with South Street Capital. The Charlotte-based firm acquired Doonbeg as part of its purchase of Kiawah Partners last year for an estimated $360 million.
The Delaware filing was "an administrative" move, Kiawah Partners spokesman Mike Touhill said.
"It's strictly just cleaning up the entity that had the liability," he said Thursday.
Touhill said Kiawah Doonbeg LLC has no assets left to sell to repay creditors.
"They all have been sold," he said. "This is the cleanup process ... and whatever needs to be done administratively is up to the court and not us."
A New Jersey accounting firm has been appointed trustee to oversee the company's liquidation.
The impact of the bankruptcy filing on Doonbeg's members was not immediately clear. A meeting of creditors is scheduled for April 10 in Wilmington, Del.
Kiawah Partners is the primary developer of the residential portion of the local resort island. It also operates two private golf courses on Kiawah.
Under previous ownership, the company ventured to Ireland's west coast more than a decade ago for its first big overseas real estate project.
Doonbeg includes a seaside links-style course designed by Greg Norman and a 218-suite upscale hotel.
When the 18-hole tract opened in mid-2002, more than 170 members paid the $50,000 initiation fee. But the property never turned a profit. The total losses exceeded $70 million through 2011, according to public financial reports filed with Irish authorities.
Ireland's housing bust and other struggles since the 2008 global financial crisis continued to hurt the resort in recent years. Also, Doonbeg's remote location posed another challenge.
Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.
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