KPS Capital Partners, LP (“KPS”) announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its portfolio company, TaylorMade Golf Company, Inc. (“TaylorMade” or the “Company”), to Centroid Investment Partners (“Centroid”), a Seoul, Korea based private equity firm. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
TaylorMade is a leading global designer and manufacturer of golf clubs, balls, bags and accessories with #1 or #2 market positions in most of its key products and geographies. For over 40 years, TaylorMade has brought innovative, high performance product technologies to golfers worldwide and is represented by some of the world’s best Professional Tour athletes in the game; including World #1 Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler, Matthew Wolff, Sung Hyun Park, Charley Hull, Maria Fassi and Sierra Brooks.
KPS acquired TaylorMade in 2017 from adidas AG in a highly complex global corporate carve-out transaction involving the separation of shared facilities, employees, distribution infrastructure and material commercial arrangements.
TaylorMade was transformed under KPS’ ownership into a fully independent, focused golf equipment company that achieved market leadership in all its key product categories and experienced the highest growth rates in the industry. TaylorMade invested heavily in industry leading equipment technologies, introduced a series of revolutionary new products, achieved significant market share growth in golf balls, built new manufacturing and distribution facilities, and successfully refocused its marketing strategy, including the expansive build-out of one of the most advanced digital platforms in the business. As a result of these initiatives, the Company rapidly progressed from generating material operating losses between 2015 and 2017 to substantial growth in profitability each year under KPS ownership.
David Shapiro, Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner of KPS stated, “TaylorMade demonstrates KPS’ ability to see value where others do not, buy right and make businesses better. KPS recognized the value of the iconic TaylorMade brand, its cutting-edge product portfolio, the talent of its world-class management team and employees and the opportunity to align the Company’s cost structure with the market realities.”
Passion for the game
Mr. Shapiro added, “We congratulate and thank CEO David Abeles, TaylorMade’s management team and the entire organization for their tremendous dedication to the brand and Company and their passion for the game of golf. The Company is well positioned for continued growth and industry leadership and is poised for accelerated growth in the important Korean market as well as the rest of Asia under Centroid’s ownership.”
David Abeles, Chief Executive Officer of TaylorMade, added, “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. 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 has never been better positioned for future growth than we are today.”
Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal counsel and Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co. served as financial advisors to KPS and TaylorMade. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals.