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Adidas to Sell TaylorMade, Adams Golf and Ashworth to KPS for $425M

Adidas to Sell TaylorMade, Adams Golf and Ashworth to KPS for $425M

Adidas began actively seeking a buyer last year, as reported by ExitHub. “TaylorMade is a leading global golf brand with an exceptionally strong market position. We would like to thank all TaylorMade employees for their many contributions to our company and wish them all the best for a successful future under their new ownership. At the same time, we welcome all adidas Golf employees who will be integrated into our adidas Heartbeat Sports Business Unit,” said Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted. “Within our long-term strategy ‘Creating the New’, our focus is clearly on our core competencies in footwear and apparel and on our two major brands adidas and Reebok.” Adidas designs, develops, produces, and markets athletic and sports lifestyle products worldwide. It operates through 13 segments: Western Europe, North America, Greater China, Russia/CIS, Latin America, Japan, Middle East, South Korea, Southeast Asia/Pacifc, TaylorMade-adidas Golf, Reebok-CCM Hockey, Runtastic, and other centrally managed businesses. The company was formerly known as adidas-Salomon AG and changed its name to adidas AG in June 2006. adidas AG was founded in 1920 and is headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany. Employing more than 60,000 people in over 160 countries, the company produce more than 840 million product units annually and generated sales of €19 billion in 2016. Guggenheim Securities LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to adidas AG and Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP served as legal counsel. Going forward, Adidas intends to focus its efforts in this market segment on further strengthening its position as a leading provider of innovative golf footwear and apparel through the Adidas Golf brand, the company says. TaylorMade Golf Company In the spring of 1979 a golf equipment salesman named Gary Adams took out a $24,000 loan on his home and founded the TaylorMade Golf Company. He rented a 6,000 square-foot building that at one time housed a television assembly plant. Counting him, there were three employees and a single, innovative product: a 12-degree driver cast of stainless steel. This new metalwood looked and sounded different from a wooden wood, and most important, it performed differently. The clubhead’s perimeter-weighting offered greater forgiveness on mis-hits, while the lower center of gravity made it easier to launch the ball in the air. Adams, the son of a golf professional, was adamant that TaylorMade clubs maintain ties to what true golfers perceived an authentic golf club should look and feel like. They were committed to combining innovation with authenticity, to always be passionate about the game, and pledged to be competitive – to work hard to establish itself and grow. These four tenets would take them far. The same values singled out 30 years ago by Gary Adams are still revered and practiced today at TaylorMade, adidas Golf and Ashworth. Starting with $47,000 in sales in 1979, the company eventually reached its first billion dollars in revenue in 2006, marking only the second time in history that a golf brand had achieved this milestone. TaylorMade was independently owned until 1984, when Salomon SA acquired the company. At the time, the union was strategically compatible for both companies which were innovators in their industries: Salomon wanted to diversify and made the decision to enter a “three-season” market, and TaylorMade benefited from the worldwide resources of Salomon. Adidas bought Salomon in 1997, and shortly thereafter the image and focus of TaylorMade were redirected to take over the driver market. The company succeeded in achieving this goal in late 2005, when it officially became the top driver in golf. PGA Tour Professionals are said to play more TaylorMade drivers than Callaway, Cleveland, Cobra, Nike and Ping combined. Currently, the company markets TaylorMade drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, golf balls and accessories. The company’s major equipment claims, promoted in marketing materials with small “No. 1” shields, include: No. 1 Driver in Golf, No. 1 Fairway in Golf and No. 1 Irons in Golf.]]>

MBK Partners in $1.5B Bid for Japan's Accordia Golf, With 16% Murakami Stake

MBK Partners in $1.5B Bid for Japan's Accordia Golf, With 16% Murakami Stake

Reuters said. MBK Partners was founded in 2005 by a group of former private equity executives at the Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG). The firm has a team of 38 professionals, and became the largest local and independent North Asian buyout firm, with over $10 billion in capital under management. Celebrity corporate raider and former Ministry of International Trade and Industry official Yoshiaki Murakami, Japan’s most notorious and controversial activist investor, reportedly controls an 18.95% stake in Accordia through his partly-owned Reno fund, together with related parties. Murakami, an outspoken early champion of shareholder rights in Japan, who is now said to be residing in Singapore, has re-entered the fray last year in league with his daughter, almost a decade after a scandal that forced him to close his multibillion-dollar Murakami Fund. As government reforms spur a revival of activism in Japan, his daughter, Aya, says the nation is now ready for her father’s ideas. She previously worked at Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities and then joined her family’s C&I Holdings, where she became chief executive in 2015. “Initially it was too early for his thinking to be accepted in Japan. Now the times are catching up,” Aya Murakami told The Japan Times in Tokyo last year, when C&I and related parties had built a stake of 16% in electronics trading company Kuroda Electric Co (TYO: 7517). Murakami and C&I started agitating for change at Kuroda, demanding to get board seats, but were later defeated in a proxy fight, which caused Kuroda’s stock price, as well as other Murakami holdings, including Sanshin Electronics Co., Accordia Golf Co. and Excel Co., to plunge. MBK’s offer for Accordia comes as the number of regular golfers in Japan has fallen to half its peak during the 1990s, with courses closing at the rate of roughly one per week in 2015, says the Financial Times. If successful, the deal would be one of the biggest in recent years by private equity in Japan. Accordia’s predecessor was founded in 1981. The company was acquired by Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and renamed Accordia in 2003, after the US investment bank assembled a portfolio of bankrupt golf courses in Japan in the aftermath of the country’s severe economic crisis in the early 1990s. As of March 31, 2016, Accordia owns 43 golf courses in Japan, and operates 93 other golf courses. Goldman Sachs and other foreign investors had taken over a series of Japanese golf-course operators in the 1990s, as the industry had “crumbled under massive debt,” The Wall Street Journal wrote over a decade ago. “Golf companies borrowed heavily during a building boom in the late 1980s, amid Japan’s property and real-estate bubble,” and folded as those debts came due. Foreign investors including Goldman Sachs, one of the most aggressive buyers, are said to have bought Japanese golf courses at bargain prices, representing less than 10% of their value a decade earlier. Goldman Sachs took Accordia public in 2006, and at one point became the second biggest owner of golf courses after Dallas, Texas-based private equity firm Lone Star, a notorious vulture fund founded by John Grayken. Goldman exited its investment in Accordia in 2011. Photo: Aya Murakami, CEO at C&I Holdings.]]>

Adidas to Sell TaylorMade, Adams Golf and Ashworth to KPS for $425M

Adidas $ADS Actively Seeking Buyer for TaylorMade Golf and Other Golf Brands

adidas AG, together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, produces, and markets athletic and sports lifestyle products worldwide. It operates through 13 segments: Western Europe, North America, Greater China, Russia/CIS, Latin America, Japan, Middle East, South Korea, Southeast Asia/Pacifc, TaylorMade-adidas Golf, Reebok-CCM Hockey, Runtastic, and Other centrally managed businesses. As of December 31, 2015, the company operated 2,772 stores, including 1,484 stores under the adidas brand; 366 stores under the Reebok brand; and 872 factory outlets. The company was formerly known as adidas-Salomon AG and changed its name to adidas AG in June 2006. adidas AG was founded in 1920 and is headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany. TaylorMade Golf Company In the spring of 1979 a golf equipment salesman named Gary Adams took out a $24,000 loan on his home and founded the TaylorMade Golf Company. He rented a 6,000 square-foot building that at one time housed a television assembly plant. Counting him, there were three employees and a single, innovative product: a 12-degree driver cast of stainless steel. This new metalwood looked and sounded different from a wooden wood, and most important, it performed differently. The clubhead’s perimeter-weighting offered greater forgiveness on mis-hits, while the lower center of gravity made it easier to launch the ball in the air. Adams, the son of a golf professional, was adamant that TaylorMade clubs maintain ties to what true golfers perceived an authentic golf club should look and feel like. They were committed to combining innovation with authenticity, to always be passionate about the game, and pledged to be competitive – to work hard to establish itself and grow. These four tenets would take them far. The same values singled out 30 years ago by Gary Adams are still revered and practiced today at TaylorMade, adidas Golf and Ashworth. Starting with $47,000 in sales in 1979, the company eventually reached its first billion dollars in revenue in 2006, marking only the second time in history that a golf brand had achieved this milestone. TaylorMade was independently owned until 1984, when Salomon SA acquired the company. At the time, the union was strategically compatible for both companies which were innovators in their industries: Salomon wanted to diversify and made the decision to enter a “three-season” market, and TaylorMade benefited from the worldwide resources of Salomon. Adidas bought Salomon in 1997, and shortly thereafter the image and focus of TaylorMade were redirected to take over the driver market. The company succeeded in achieving this goal in late 2005, when it officially became the top driver in golf. PGA Tour Professionals are said to play more TaylorMade drivers than Callaway, Cleveland, Cobra, Nike and Ping combined. Currently, the company markets TaylorMade drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, golf balls and accessories. The company’s major equipment claims, promoted in marketing materials with small “No. 1” shields, include: No. 1 Driver in Golf, No. 1 Fairway in Golf and No. 1 Irons in Golf.]]>

Topgolf Raises Major Growth Capital Investment From Providence Equity

Topgolf Raises Major Growth Capital Investment From Providence Equity

recent acquisition of World Golf Tour (WGT). WGT is the leading web and mobile golf game, with more than 14 million players worldwide across online, social and mobile platforms. TEG also recently formed the Topgolf International division, which will oversee expansion of the brand abroad. “Topgolf has transformed itself into a global sports lifestyle brand, and with Providence’s strategic partnership, we will be well-positioned to accelerate openings and further extend our reach beyond the four walls of our venues,” said TEG co-chairman and CEO Erik Anderson. “Providence is one of the leading growth investment firms in sports and sports media companies, and we look forward to additional insight and support as we advance our vision to provide our fans with the best times of their lives.” Providence’s previous and current sports and sports media-related investments consist of Ironman Triathlon, Major League Soccer (MLS) Media, Learfield Sports, Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network (YES), Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), and Chime Communications. “Topgolf has evolved not only the way people play golf but also where they go for entertainment,” said Providence Equity managing director Scott Marimow. “Topgolf has a unique position in the industry and has demonstrated expertise in achieving remarkable growth, while maintaining the spirited culture behind the Topgolf experience. We look forward to partnering with this proven executive team to further accelerate Topgolf’s success.” Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan acted as financial advisers, and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as legal adviser to TEG in connection with the investment from Providence. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as legal adviser to Providence in connection with this investment. Providence Equity is a global asset management firm with $45 billion in assets under management across complementary private equity and credit businesses. The firm pioneered a sector-focused approach to private equity investing with the vision that a dedicated team of industry experts could build exceptional companies of enduring value. Since the firm’s inception in 1989, Providence has invested in more than 150 companies and is the leading equity investment firm focused on the media, communications, education and information industries. The firm is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island and also has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Delhi.]]>