A deal has been agreed which will see renowned golf brands Titleist and Footjoy come under new ownership.
Fortune Brands Inc, which owns the Acushnet Golf Company comprising Titleist and Footjoy, has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell Acushnet to a group led by Fila Korea, Ltd., the owner of the Fila brand globally, and Mirae Asset Private Equity, the largest private equity firm in Korea.
The news follows the acquisition of the Cobra Golf brand by Puma from Acushnet last year and comes six months after Fortune Brands announced the Acushnet Brand was also up for sale.
The deal remains subject to certain closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the summer.
Acushnet Company is one of the largest golf equipment companies in the world with annual sales of more than $1.2 billion in 2010.
After the acquisition, Acushnet will remain as a standalone company through separate operation from Fila Korea, with its worldwide headquarters remaining in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, and led by chairman and CEO Wally Uihlein and Acushnet’s current management team.
“The Acushnet Company has long been the trusted steward of two of golf’s most revered and iconic brands, and has perpetuated the longest running records of golf equipment success in the game,” said Uihlein.
“The Fila Korea and Mirae group understands and appreciates our golf industry leadership, passionate associates, and unique and enduring culture. Together, with our new owners, our team is looking forward to strengthening and building upon the global success of the Titleist and FootJoy brands.”
Established in Italy in 1911, Fila is a leading sport and leisure footwear and apparel brand that is distributed worldwide. The group, led by Fila Korea and Mirae, also includes the National Pension Service of Korea, the fourth largest pension fund in the world, and Korea Development Bank, Korea’s largest government-owned bank.
“The acquisition of Acushnet transforms our platform with a stable of premier world class brands,” said Gene Yoon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Fila Korea, Ltd.
“We are equally excited to embrace Acushnet’s exceptional management team led by Wally Uihlein. With our extensive knowledge and reach in Asia, we believe that the Acushnet brands have incredible new opportunities for growth in the emerging markets in Asia.”
“Titleist and FootJoy are powerful global golf brands,” added Uihlein. “The fact that Asia Pacific represents over 30% of the world’s total golf equipment spending, and that South Korean golfers are among the most passionate and organized in the game, is testament to the significant investment in the Acushnet Company by the Fila Korea and Mirae group. They recognize the strength of the brands and opportunities for growth particularly in golf’s emerging regions.”