The Commerce Club board, at its monthly meeting, gave the green light to proceed with negotiations to merge with the 191 Club.
But the two parties haven’t yet reached a final agreement.
“What I asked for and got was approval to complete negotiations consistent with the term sheet passed at the last meeting,” Ratcliffe said.
That approval means that unless some of the major terms change, Ratcliffe and his executive team can complete the agreement with Club Corporation of America, the owner of the 191 Club.
The merged club would be located on the top floors of the 191 Peachtree building and would combine the memberships of both business clubs.
Ratcliffe said one of the reasons the negotiations have taken so long is because the Commerce Club board is committed to preserving the influential civic role that it has had since the early 1960s.
With today’s vote, Ratcliffe, CEO of the Southern Co., said the final agreement won’t need to be ratified by the board.
He said he expects to have that final agreement, along with a timetable for moving the Commerce Club from its historic home at Five Points, within the next couple of months.