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TaylorMade Golf sold to South Korean investment company Centroid

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TaylorMade Golf again has changed hands, with KPS Capital Partners striking a definitive agreement through an affiliate to sell the club maker to South Korean-based private equity firm Centroid Investment Partners.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the New York Times reported in February that KPS Capital Partners had pitched an asking price of $2 billion.

Centroid was established in 2015 and has focused on several strategic buyouts in Korea, including the purchase of South Springs Country Club. Centroid’s other buyouts have included Kolon Advance Fiber and Woongjin Booxen, a book distributor.

KPS bought TaylorMade – established in 1979 – from Adidas in 2017 for $425 million. TaylorMade since benefitted from last year’s boom in golf participation, particularly in the United States where demand for new clubs and gear spiked. Golf Datatech reported that retail sales of golf equipment produced $2.81 billion in revenue in 2020, which was a 10.1-percent increase over 2019. It gave 2020 the third-highest annual total since Golf Datatech began tracking the industry, trailing only $2.91 billion in 2008 and $2.87 billion in 2007.

“TaylorMade Golf is a transformational investment for Centroid,” Jinhyeok Jeong, founder and CEO of Centroid Investment Partners, said in the media release announcing the sale. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to invest in a global leader in golf. The industry is currently experiencing high demand, increased participation with strong long-term opportunities around the world. TaylorMade is an iconic brand with continued momentum across the key golf equipment categories and regions, especially the Korean and wider Asian markets. We are equally excited to work with (TaylorMade) CEO David Abeles and his exceptional senior management team to support continued growth and success.”

TaylorMade said in a release that it has experienced the highest growth within the industry in key products and total market since that 2017 sale made it an independent gear-focused company. TaylorMade – which is based in Carlsbad, California – also benefits from a PGA Tour staff of players promoting the brand that includes Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and several other top players

The roster of top players includes several on the LPGA, which is extremely popular in South Korea, the home of Centroid.

David Abeles, TaylorMade CEO

“This transaction is a very important milestone as we continue to build upon our brand’s momentum around the world,” Abeles said in the media release. “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.

“Our partnership with KPS has been extraordinary. 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. … At the same time, we are equally excited about our new partnership with Centroid and believe that it will enable our outstanding team to continue to build on the strategies that have driven TaylorMade’s success.”

original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/05/11/taylormade-golf-sold-south-korea-centroid/

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