Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has acquired Britain’s iconic country club and luxury golf resort, Stoke Park, for £57 million.
It is Ambani’s second acquisition on British soil since he bought British toy shop chain, Hamleys in 2019 to strengthen his retail footprint.
In the last four years, the Mumbai-based oil-to telecom conglomerate has announced $3.3 billion in acquisitions with 14 per cent in retail, 80 per cent in technology, media, and telecom sector, and 6 per cent in energy.
In a stock exchange filing last week, the company said that the Stoke Park investment was routed through its wholly-owned subsidiary Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Ltd (RIIHL).
“Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Ltd (RIIHL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of RIL, has on April 22, 2021, acquired the entire issued share capital of Stoke Park Ltd, a company incorporated in the UK, for £57 million,” it said.
“RIIHL will look to enhance the sports and leisure facilities at this heritage site, while fully complying with the planning guidelines and local regulations,” Reliance added.
Stoke Park owns and manages sporting and leisure facilities in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, UK. The facilities include a hotel, conference facilities, sports facilities and one of the highest rated golf courses in Europe.
This acquisition is expected to add to the consumer and hospitality footprint of the oil-to-telecom major. Reliance is also developing a state-of-the-art convention centre, hotel and managed residences at BKC in Mumbai.
Stoke Park has always had a close relationship with Pinewood Studios and the British film industry. Two James Bond movies: Goldfinger (1964) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) — were filmed at Stoke Park. The duel between James Bond (Sean Connery) and Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) is still considered to be the most famous game of golf in cinematic history, the Park stated on its website.
Scenes such as mini-break and rowing scenes from Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) starring Hugh Grant, Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth were also filmed at the estate with the Georgian-era mansion set in the midst of 300 acres of parkland. Stoke Park hosts 49 luxury bedrooms and suits, a 27-hole golf course, 13 tennis courts and 14 acres of private gardens.
Though the Stoke Park estate has a recorded history of over 900 years, it was used as a private residence until 1908, according to its official website.