TaylorMade Golf to be acquired by Korea-based private equity firm

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TaylorMade Golf is changing hands for the second time in the last four years. The Carlsbad, Calif.-based equipment manufacturer announced on Tuesday that current financial sponsor, KPS Capital Partners, has signed a “definitive agreement” to sell the company to Centroid Investment Partners, a Korea-based private equity firm.

“This transaction is a very important milestone as we continue to build upon our brand’s momentum around the world,” said David Abeles, TaylorMade’s Chief Executive Officer. “Not surprisingly, the sale process for TaylorMade generated tremendous interest from a wide range of prospective buyers and resulted in an agreement that reflects the outstanding performance of our business today, as well as the outlook for the future.”

According to a report from Korea Economic Daily, Centroid was “seeking to form a consortium with other strategic investors in Korea to win the bid” in April. The private equity firm was on an approved shortlist, along with four other investors, to acquire TaylorMade. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Even without knowing the final numbers of the transaction, KPS will walk away with a sizable return on their initial investment. Four years after the firm acquired TaylorMade from Adidas, in 2017, for $425 million — roughly $200 million in cash — it tapped Morgan Stanley to run the sale of the equipment manufacturer with a reported $2 billion valuation, or nearly five times its total initial investment.

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Prior to Centroid’s acquisition of TaylorMade, the largest deal in the history of the golf equipment industry was Fila Korea Ltd.’s purchase of Acushnet Holdings Corp., for $1.225 billion in 2011.

“Our partnership with KPS has been extraordinary,” Abeles continued. “It has been inspiring and incredibly productive to work with the team across the firm. From the beginning, KPS had the vision to recognize the strength and potential of the TaylorMade brand and business. Under KPS’s ownership, TaylorMade has become a far better company by investing in our operations, product technology pathways, product development processes and, importantly, in our people. TaylorMade Golf has never been better positioned for future growth than we are today.”

The Korea Economic Daily noted Centroid, which was founded in 2015, made a high-profile golf acquisition last year with the purchase of 18-hole South Springs Country Club from BGF Group.

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