Group Led by Fila Korea Buys Acushnet (Titleist and FootJoy brands) for $1.2 Billion

Today Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO) announced a definitive agreement for the sale of its Acushnet Company golf business, featuring the iconic Titleist and FootJoy brands, 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 purchase price is $1.225 billion in cash. Fortune Brands estimates it will realize net proceeds of approximately $1.1 billion after taxes and expenses.

Fortune Brands Golf Businesses

The press release states that Acushnet is the leading and most profitable golf equipment company in the world. Titleist is the #1 ball in golf and a leader in high-performance golf clubs. FootJoy is the #1 shoe and glove in golf and a leader in performance outerwear. Net sales exceeded $1.2 billion in 2010, with nearly half of revenues generated in markets outside the United States. Operating income before charges was $80 million in 2010, and operating income on a GAAP basis was $89 million.

The sale is expected to close this summer.

Plans to either sell or spin off the company had been in the works since late last year when Fortune Brands, which also owns a home and security business and a distilled spirits unit, approved a plan to divide the company into three distinct businesses. Wally Uihlein, chairman and chief executive officer of Acushnet Co., in a phone interview this morning with SouthCoast Today said there were many interested parties, but Fila Korea stood out from the beginning as good business men plus “they’re golfers.”

Fila Korea and its partners intend to run Acushnet Co. as a standalone entity and have made it clear that they are relying on the current management to continue operations, said Joe Nauman, Acushnet Co.’s executive vice president for corporate and legal affairs.

“This is not going to be a merger into Fila Korea,” said Nauman. “We’re going to have a new owner that is very much like the ownership under Fortune Brands. We’re stand-alone; we operate the business.”



Got something to say? Go for it!