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Club Car sold to investment firm run by Detroit Pistons owner

POSTED ON April 14, 2021 @ 5:38 pm

Club Car

As rounds of golf played in the U.S. surge, mechanical equipment manufacturer Ingersoll Rand Inc. has agreed to sell golf car-maker Club Car to Platinum Equity, an investment firm and holding company founded and operated by Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores. The price: $1.7 billion, Platinum Equity said.

Founded in 1958 and based in Augusta, Georgia, Club Car is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of golf carts and other low-speed vehicles, especially electric versions for a wide range of commercial and consumer applications. The company’s carts can be found at many golf courses across the United States and globally.

“Club Car is an iconic golf brand that for more than 60 years has set the industry standard for quality and innovation,” Gores, who is Platinum Equity’s chairman and CEO, said in a media release announcing the sale. “We appreciate Ingersoll Rand’s confidence in our ability to build on that legacy and support Club Car’s continued growth and expansion as a standalone company.”

Ingersoll Rand bought Club Car in 1995, and Reuters reported the deal is part of an effort to pay down debt and streamline Ingersoll Rand, which last year merged its industrial business with Gardner Denver Holdings.

The media release said Platinum Equity has 25 years’ experience acquiring and operating global businesses that have been peeled out of large corporate entities. In recent years the firm has acquired businesses from Ball Corporation, Emerson Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Newell Brands, Office Depot, Pitney Bowes and Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, among others.

“Demand for electric vehicles across many product platforms and geographies is at an all-time high,” said Club Car President Mark Wagner in a media release. Wagner will stay in his current role under Platinum Equity’s ownership. “Golf remains a very stable, healthy business while our consumer and commercial markets are rapidly growing around the world. As our product line and geographic reach have expanded, so has the complexity of our business. Platinum’s experience and global resources will be vital to helping us continue that growth and to achieving our long-term ambitions.”

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