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Adidas sells TaylorMade to KPS Capital Partners for $425 million

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Adidas has sold its golf brands TaylorMade, Adams and Ashworth to New York City-based private equity firm KPS Capital Partners for $425 million. The athletic-apparel giant had been actively seeking a buyer for its golf brands since this time May 2016.

The news was announced in a press release, which stated that the sale will be “half … paid in cash with the remainder in a combination of secured note and contingent considerations.” Completion of the transaction is expected later this year.

“This is the beginning of an exciting new era for TaylorMade, and our entire management team is excited to partner with KPS in this next phase of our growth and continued development of our brands, business and people,” said David Abeles, Chief Executive Officer of TaylorMade. “The TaylorMade team is deeply committed to making the most technically advanced performance-driven golf equipment, and this mission will never change. Given their strategic vision, operational resources and significant access to capital, KPS is the ideal partner to help TaylorMade build upon its strong momentum.”

KPS is a private equity firm headquartered in New York City. The company says it “generates investment returns by structurally improving the strategic position, competitiveness and profitability of its portfolio companies, rather than primarily relying on financial leverage.” It currently manages a family of investment funds worth approximately $5.3 billion. 

TaylorMade’s annual sales reached a peak of $1.7 billion in 2013, but the sales have slumped in recent years. An article published by the New York Post in February stated that TaylorMade annual sales had slipped to less than $500 million and that the Carlsbad California-based company was losing between $75-100 million each year.

“TaylorMade is one of the preeminent golf equipment brands worldwide, with leading-edge products that consistently provide consumers a distinct performance advantage over the competition,” said David Shapiro, a Managing Partner of KPS. “We look forward to working with Chief Executive Officer David Abeles, his management team and all TaylorMade employees around the world to build on this great platform by driving growth both organically and through strategic acquisitions. The combination of this iconic brand and KPS’ track record of working constructively with talented management teams to make businesses better will provide the ideal foundation for TaylorMade’s future growth.”

While TaylorMade’s sales have slowed, its presence on the PGA Tour has not. Yesterday, the company announced that it had signed Rory McIlroy to deal to use its golf clubs and golf ball. It now has endorsement deals with the top-3 golfers in the world: Dustin Johnson (No. 1), McIlroy (No. 2) and Jason Day (No. 3).

In January, TaylorMade also signed 14-time major champion Tiger Woods to an endorsement deal. The company also has a deal with one of the hottest young golfers on the PGA Tour, 22-year-old John Rahm.

Adidas said last year that it planned to continue to produce golf shoes and apparel even after the sale of TaylorMade, Adams and Ashworth, and the press release mentioned no change in Adidas’ strategy.

Related: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about TaylorMade’s sale in our forum. 

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  1. Darryl

    May 15, 2017 at 7:57 am

    TM signed Rory to deny Callaway the chance, if they hadn’t made an offer at least matching Callaways, he would have just signed for Callaway for the money and quietly put a disguised M2 in the bag, this way they get to shout it from the rooftops and damage Callaway all in one.

    Rory shifting to the M2 will badly damage the sales of the Epic. If DJ, JD and Rory are all using one driver it will sell like free intercourse.

    Callaway thought having Henrik and the prospect of Rory on the books would make the Epic a slam dunk best seller, but with Henrik off the boil (and still using his 3 wood a lot) and Rory deciding the TM product is better. That can’t be good for Callaway, so much so that I notice their Epic ad says that its the best selling driver of 2017 but has a very big visible disclaimer at the bottom saying “based on results from Jan – Mar 2017” so they clearly don’t think the Q2 numbers are going to be so good.

    What TM have wasted money on is signing Tiger. He’s unlikely to play a major role in tournament golf again, so new young players wont know him any better than I knew Hogan or Snead, a once great player, now just a name in the record books. With Nike not making equipment any more, the Tiger fanboys that insist on playing whatever their hero plays would have to switch anyway and that number will drop year on year with him out of the game anyway.

    Is this the final cycle of big money deals as golf settles into a post Tiger era? It’s unlikely any of the new crop of superstars will dominate as he did, so is it worth tying them down to 10 year $100M+ deals? 4 years ago everyone thought Rory was the heir apparent and would challenge the Major tallys of both Woods and Nicklaus, not so. 2 years ago everyone thought Speith was the T-Rex and would rule for a thousand years, not so. 18 months ago it was Jason Day, 12 Months ago DJ, 6 months ago Justin Thomas. But they all look like they will settle into a nice routine of 6 months each at the top and then a rest. That isn’t worth $10m a year.

  2. Don Greco

    May 12, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Love the press release; makes it sound like the world’s greatest golf manufacturing company….just pay no attention that is was sold at a firesale price. There are only so many golfers out there…..it’s a niche game, always will be. Mass marketing just not a good fit for the golf industry. ….there aren’t enough players who need new gear as frequently as the manufacturers had hoped. Every “grow the game” article in any golf magazine is really a marketing pitch for new customers.

  3. munchies

    May 11, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Three steps to black – 1. stop paying ridiculous endorsement fees to tour players, drop few of them 2. cut off management 3. stop dropping bucket loads in marketing, focus in quality offering…

  4. David Ables

    May 11, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Peace out guys. I’m off to run Adidas South America. Just like Mark King flooded the golf market then got a promo with Adi NA!

  5. M-Herd4

    May 11, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Why would a struggling company like TM sign Rory to a $100M contract when the entire company itself is only valued at $425M?? They already have a stable of elite players that haven’t helped their financial health significantly…

    • Forsbrand

      May 11, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      Could Rory himself along with Tiger be part of the investment?

    • munchies

      May 11, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      I know unbelievable. Wouldn’t there be a point of diminishing returns? You have DJ and Tiger on the book already, would adding Rory will increase the club sales proportionally? I would venture to say no..

    • Tom1

      May 12, 2017 at 10:47 am

      100 mil, I searched and couldn’t find that info….?

  6. rebfan73

    May 11, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Or WWE….

  7. Mat

    May 11, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Here’s to hoping they break the release cycle madness. It is good IP, but the lack of price strength hurts the premium margins. And back off the damn lofts. 🙂

  8. Craig

    May 11, 2017 at 4:47 am

    Good to see the keyboard warriors at it again. A quick bit of research on the JPS website will actually show they have a history of INVESTING in companies by improving and streamlining supply chain and manufacturing and growing their investments . Could mean Taylormade might actually improve on delivery and custom build times!!! Time will tell

  9. Simms

    May 10, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    Darn, I was hoping Ashworth would buy back his name and we could have some descent fitting quality golf shirts again…..

    • MMM

      May 11, 2017 at 10:56 am

      You should look at LinkSoul……that’s the company John Ashworth started after he got bought out.

  10. alan

    May 10, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    as long as my next taylormade driver is 14 yards longer than the one i bought 6 months ago i dont care who owns taylormade.

  11. toyzrx

    May 10, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Nothing in economy suggests that investment into golf anything is money well spent. I see more layoffs and budget tightening coming to TM. I was hoping TM be bought by another big sport OEM, or merge with Callaway or Titleist.

  12. jc

    May 10, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    now they will have to come out with a new driver every 4 months instead of every 6 months. And it will go 5 yards father of course.

  13. Scott

    May 10, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Yawn

  14. IH

    May 10, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I thought the amount would be biggerer lol

  15. Adrien Jenot

    May 10, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    I bet they stop making new clubs every year now… (structurally improving the strategic position, competitiveness and profitability of its portfolio companies) I for one am glad the golf market is going back to reality. It reminds me of a recent crash lol

  16. golfraven

    May 10, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Does Rory need to worry about his next paycheque? Doubtful!

  17. Jeb Springfield

    May 10, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Fairly sure if you use he “word” “prolly,” you’re not clearing $25M.

    • NolanMBA

      May 10, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      That Facebook creator wears hoodies to board meetings…

  18. Orvill

    May 10, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Heck…. I wuldn’ta paid more than $375 Mill for TM….. and then sold it off in chunks ….. drivers… irons… putters… balls… bags… and prolly cleared $400 Mill with $25 Mill profit …. and then flipped off Ashworth and Adams ….!!

  19. Joe

    May 10, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    No luck involved, the signing of Rory was most likely part of whatever deal they came to. Once a Private Equity firm takes hold it’s all down hill……

  20. TCJ

    May 10, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    First!

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Tour Photo Galleries

Interesting photos from Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Championship

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This week, the PGA Tour is at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Wells Fargo Championship. GolfWRX was on-site Tuesday to spy a glimpse into the bags of some of the world’s top golfers where the field is getting ready to play starting Thursday for the $8.1 million purse, with the winner going home with just over $1.45 million dollars and the important 500 FedEx Cup points.

Don’t forget you can check out all our image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

New Ping irons and wedges spotted

It’s a big week at the Wells Fargo for Ping, with the official tour launch of the new i59 irons and Glide Forged Pro wedges. We are still seeking out the full tech, and potential release info, but you can join the discussion about the new gear in the GolfWRX forums: Ping i59 irons – 2021 Wells Fargo Championship

That’s one way to make a site line

Although he is still one of the better ball-strikers on tour, Lucas Glover’s difficulty with the putter has been well documented. We spotted him on the putting green at Quail Hollow making an improvised site line on his Scotty Cameron Newport 2. Those Sharpies are good for more than just signing autographs!

Very unique hosel on this Odyssey

This Odyssey widebody putter has its plumber’s neck hosel very close to the center of the topline to reduce toe hang and offer a one-of-a-kind view in the address position.

Bettinardi prototype high toe mallet

This Hexperimental Proto from the folks at Bettinardi looks like the milled steel lovechild of their Studio Stock 17 and a Queen Bee 11. It combines the high-toe look with a bumpered mallet.

Jason Day working with a new putter

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: the Bryson effect is real. This week, it looks like Jason Day has moved to a SIK putter paired with an LA Golf putter shaft after a very long run with a TaylorMade Spider.

Speaking of Jason Day and new gear…

The new SIK putter was seen in the bag with no backup in sight and a new wedge (under plastic). Super bonus points for the Augusta National pro shop (only for Members and guests) accessories bag Day is using—that’s serious golf drip.

Wyndham Clark PXG irons confirmed

IMG_9688.jpeg

After some speculation about their existence, we now have confirmation that the irons being used by Wyndham Clark are a yet-to-be-released PXG Gen 4 0311 ST (Super Tour) blade. You can see more pictures of the iron here: GolfWRX Forums In hand Gen4 0311 ST irons

Xander’s got a lot of headcovers in there

Xander Schauffele must be on the lookout for some new fairway woods, because he had five different options under headcovers on the range at Quail Hollow. Maybe he has a few of those Triple Diamond Epic Speeds under there? GolfWRX Spotted: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond fairway wood

Rickie working on a lot, including his tempo

Rickie had a lot going on at the range on Tuesday and one of the more interesting things of note was an iron shafted with a Fujikura MCI tempo trainer.

Dufner with new Cobra putter

The search for a putter seems to be nonstop for Jason Dufner at the moment and after some time with an oversized Cobra mallet, it looks like he has moved onto something a little smaller and with a bit more toe hang.

Smiling assassin Sungjae Im

If you were inside the top 25 on the FedEx Cup and playing as well as Sungjae is right now, you’d probably be smiling too.

Rafa is rolling one very nice Scotty Cameron

When it comes to Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, the “Timeless” Newport 2 style stands alone and Rafa’s custom looks really good from here.

You can check out all the pictures from Tuesday of the Wells Fargo in the links below

2021 Wells Fargo – Tuesday #1

2021 Wells Fargo – Tuesday #2

2021 Wells Fargo – Tuesday #3

2021 Wells Fargo – Tuesday #4

2021 Wells Fargo – Tuesday #5

Bettinardi putters & covers – 2021 Wells Fargo

Ping i59 irons – 2021 Wells Fargo Championship

New Ping Glide Forged Pro wedge – 2021 Wells Fargo

Behind the scenes on the PXG truck – 2021 Wells Fargo

PXG Gen 4 0311 T & 0311 ST irons – 2021 Wells Fargo

Jason Day testing a SIK putter with LA Golf shaft – 2021 Wells Fargo

Scotty Cameron T2 putter – 2021 Wells Fargo

KH Lee’s Odyssey putter – – 2021 Wells Fargo

Patrick Cantlay’s Cameron T-5 – 2021 Wells Fargo

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Interesting photos from Tuesday at the Valspar Championship: Part 2

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This week, the PGA Tour is at Innisbrook Resort on the Copperhead course in Palm Harbor, Florida, for the Valspar Championship, where 2019 champion Paul Casey is looking to defend his title. The field of 156 is getting ready to battle starting Thursday for the $6.9 million purse with $1.24 million going to the winner.

GolfWRX was on-site Tuesday to spy a glimpse into the bags of some of the world’s top golfers and we had so many images that were bringing you a part two!

Don’t forget you can check out all our image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

Kevin Kisner is back to old faithful

Although the putter is new (Odyssey 2-Ball Ten), the length is something familiar for Kevin Kisner this week at the Valspar Championship. After a couple of week of testing the armlock style, it looks like he is going back to a more convention length.

DJ is sticking with the Brandon 1

After putting it into play for the final round of the RBC Heritage, it looks like Dustin Johnson is sticking with a new TaylorMade Brandon 1 prototype putter and LA golf graphite putter shaft. If this putter seems familiar, it’s because we saw Tommy Fleetwood put something very similar into play a couple of weeks ago too.

Chris Kirk is taking a 5-year leap with a new Cobra driver

Equipment free agent Chris Kirk is not one to switch often—his most recent driver was the under-the-radar classic Callaway 2016 Big Bertha.

But on the putting green this week we spotted Kirk testing a Cobra RadSpeed model, which could mean he’s ready to take a big five-year leap in driver tech.

Did someone say Cobra?

We also spotted James Hahn testing a RadSpeed in a Tuesday practice round. Bonus points to Hahn for the awesome socks!

Tom Lewis has a real superhero setup

Custom covers paired with a Callaway combo set featuring limited edition “Japanese forged” Apex blades. Tom Lewis has an aspirational set of sticks.

Phil is at the Valspar and ready to paint the town red – with birdies

Phil was a late addition to the field at the Valspar this year, but he’s looking in tip-top shape as he preps for the year’s second major, the PGA Championship. Speaking of tip-top shape…

Bodyguard or caddy?

Before Phil made his way to the putting green, the first man on the scene was his caddy who also looks to moonlight as a bouncer in his spare time.

Ryan Armour has one awesome Scotty Cameron

How cool is this Circle T?

Thumbs up for Team Rose

Justin has been using an Axis1 putter for a number of years now, but we did catch him messing around with some different grip options on his preferred Rose signature model.

Grace is still on “Auto” pilot

It has been well documented that a number of golfers have tested the Autoflex shaft, but many have gone back to previous models after only a few weeks. Branden Grace made the switch close to a month ago and it seems that its still going strong in the bag.

Dufner is a grinder

We caught Jason Dufner working on his short-range putting using his prototype 3D printed Cobra putter. Although we don’t have all the details this new design packs some seriously high MOI based on its geometry. (below photo is from a previous event)

JJ’s has some top choices in the bag

JJ Spaun is one of the quiet equipment free agents on the PGA Tour, but he has quite the setup that includes the very popular Srixon ZX7 irons and a Ping G425 driver with Fujikura Ventus. On a personal note, I had the chance to caddie in a PGA Tour Pro-Am a number of years ago where our pro was JJ, and he could not have been a nicer guy. Go, JJ!

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Tour Photo Galleries

Most interesting photos from Tuesday at the Valspar Championship

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This week, the PGA Tour is at Innisbrook Resort on the Copperhead course in Palm Harbor, Florida, for the Valspar Championship, where 2019 champion Paul Casey is looking to defend his title. The field of 156 is getting ready to battle starting Thursday for the $6.9 million purse with $1.24 million going to the winner. GolfWRX was on-site Tuesday to spy a glimpse into the bags of some of the world’s top golfers.

Don’t forget you can check out all our image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

Never stop working on the short ones

A putting mat like this is one of the most compact and useful tools you can use when it comes to practicing putts on a green—or even a hotel carpet. In the case of tour players, I suggest a putting green whenever possible.

Yonex blades looking sharp

Although most golfers thinking about the brand Yonex will still usually default to early-career Phil Mickelson, the brand is still alive and well and producing some great-looking irons, including these blades.

Sam Horsfield is a wizard on the greens

This week at the Valspar, Sam is using a custom weld-neck Bettinardi with a sight dot. The reason for the welded neck is to move the hosel closer to the middle of the head to reduce toe hang.

The “other” Koepka is in the field

Although Brooks is out, Chase Koepka is teeing it up this week, and just like his brother, he has a mixed bag of gear featuring multiple brands that includes Vokey wedges and some custom-stamped Mizuno JPX-921 Tours.

Battle of the mullets

Its looks like we could have a battle brewing for the most glorious mullet on the PGA Tour. In one corner, the current champion Cameron Smith, and in the other corner, the challenger: Keith Mitchell’s caddy “Crunchy” Pete Persolja!

I mean, just look at that glorious flow!

Jimmy Walker likes nice things

Now this is a Scotty Cameron putter!

The PGA Tour needs to get reciprocals

Seeing the MLB logo on Adam Long’s bag hopefully comes with tickets to whatever games he wants to see. My next question would be “How do we get a PGA Tour logo on an MLB’s player’s sleeve?”

You can take the Canadian out of hockey…

…but you can’t take the hockey out of the Canadian. We spotted Adam Hadwin working on his release “feels” with what looked to be a very slapshot-like drill.

Go to see him prepping. Stanley Cup playoffs are starting soon.

Putter shopping with Luke Donald

I should clarify that although he’s was seen looking at a number of putters on the practice green at Valspar, calling it shopping is a bit of a stretch.

More Odyssey 2-Balls in action

One of the newest 2-ball converts on tour is no other than the personification of a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man, Chesson Hadley. The 6’4″ Hadley is currently ranked third in strokes gained putting on tour—so, whatever he is doing is clearly working.

Family Guy on FOX - This short but handsome, slightly hairy, newly...

 Vegas has upgraded

Equipment free agent Jhonattan Vegas certainly has a type when it comes to his irons and wedges. At this time last year, he was using Mizuno’s MP-4 irons and Vokey wedges, and this week the Venezuelan is using the new JPX-921 Tours, Vokey wedges, and what looks to be a Titleist TSi3 driver.

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