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Chinese firm scoops up Malibu golf course for $30.5M cash

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The sale includes the rights to develop it

The long-troubled Malibu Golf Club has sold for $30.5 million in an all-cash deal to a secretive Chinese investment firm. The Los Angeles Times reports the deal closed Tuesday.

The golf course shuttered last year after its former owner, Lehman Brothers head Dick Fuld and his partners at Malibu Associates, saddled themselves with debt trying to remodel and develop the 650-acre spread. They filed for bankruptcy twice and, last year, the golf course was placed under a court-ordered receivership.

"We are fortunate to have selected a solid buyer and are excited to see what the future holds for the site," the receiver, Trigild CEO Bill Hoffman, told The Real Deal in a statement.

The new owner is Shinhan Golden Faith International Development. Little is known about its investors. The Times and The Real Deal, which first reported the sale, dug into the Panama Papers database but turned up little information. Apparently, the firm is based in Hong Kong, and one of its major shareholders is Beijing-based M.O. Company.

Malibu Associates bought the 18-hole golf course in the Santa Monica Mountains in 2006, paying $33 million. It took out a $47-million loan to fulfill its lofty plans of renovating the site and securing entitlements for development on the property. The sale to Shinhan Golden Faith includes those entitlements, which allow for the construction of guest rooms, a spa, and a golf school, according to the Times.

The Los Angeles Business Journal says, "The company did not disclose its plans for the site, but is thought to be considering several options, including renovating the putting greens or building homes."