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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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28 Comments

  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

WGC-Workday Championship Tour Truck Report: New putter for Rory, more AutoFlex experiments

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First and foremost, prayers and love to Tiger Woods and his family.

TaylorMade

Rory McIlroy is going back to an older model putter this week at Concession swapping his Spider X for a TP Juno.

Robert McIntyre AKA “Bobby Mack” put a new TaylorMade Rescue ’21 Hybrid ([email protected]) in the bag with a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black Hybrid 100 6.5 TX.

Matthew Wolff put a new TaylorMade (19) UDI in the bag with a Mitsubishi MMT 125TX.

Collin Morikawa was testing SIM2, SIM2 Max hybrids this week with Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 TX shafts.

Dustin Johnson alongside TaylorMade’s Keith Sbarboro was testing SIM2 drivers with Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X, Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 and an LAGP Proto.

Callaway

Jon Rahm made adjustments to his Mavrik Sub Zero 5-wood to optimize launch. The 5-wood has 16.4 degrees of loft and a Black Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8X. The adjustments were to the lie of the club going from 59.8 to 58.9 and weight distribution from 12g Front/6g Back to 10G Front/6g Back. Dialed.

Min Woo Lee put a new Epic Speed ([email protected]) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 7X. Lee also debuted his new logo which is on fire.

Titleist 

Genesis Invitational champion Max Homa tested TSi2 5-woods to give him some options for some of the tee shots at Concession. It’s equipped with a Graphite Design Tour XC 8 TX.

Lanto Griffin swapped into a shorter driver going from 45 to 44.5 in his TSi3 (10). Griffin’s driver has a Project X HZURDUS Smoke Black 70 6.5TX

Justin Thomas put a TSI3 (9) in the bag this week. The new set up is powered by a Mitsubishi Diamana ZF TX

Ping

Cameron Champ switched back into a shorter length Ping G425 LST this week going from 45 to 44.25 inches. The shaft is a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 70 6.5 TX (@44.25 , Tip 1.5, D4 SW).

Louis Oosthuizen did something interesting. He had a Ping build him a G425 LST (10.5 @ 9.4, Small -) with the company’s lightweight Alta Slate CB 55 stiff shaft. The 2010 Open Champion was looking for a softer feel with the driver, which isn’t surprising, considering he was seen taking a hard look at Adam Scott’s TSi with an AutoFlex. The whippy lightweight plot thickens…

Ping released a bunch of new putters this week for seeding. Multiple staffers tested them and we will see on Thursday if any go in play.

Cobra

Cobra’s Ben Schomin (and king of the mullets) is doing something to Bryson’s driver—wanted to post this because of the respect for Ben’s hair. Hair aside, Bryson did put a new LAGP Axis Blue 6X in his driver and was also testing new Rad Speed 3 Woods.

Misc/Free Agents

Tommy Fleetwood swapped out his Callaway MD5 Jaws wedges for a set of Titleist Vokey’s (52M, 56M, and 60T) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts.

Adam Scott (Titleist staff) was testing long center shafted Odyssey Two Ball 10.

 

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Interesting photos from WGC-Workday (plus links to all 9 galleries)

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This week, the PGA Tour is at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, where we were on-site Tuesday and Wednesday to spy some interesting things from the grounds and on the range as players were getting ready to battle for a $10.5 million purse at the WGC-Workday Championship.

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

Frankin 2-Ball

There is a lot going on with the center-shafted 2-Ball Ten. It has weight plugs epoxied into the sole cavity, a hand-drawn marker line on the alignment discs, and a White Hot OG insert—and did I mention it has a long grip?

Speaking of 2-Ball…

The aforementioned 2-Ball Ten caught the attention of Adam Scott, and he was spotted messing around with it around the putting green.

Iron covers: the new trend?

Before you start thinking Bubba Watson was the trendsetter, it was actually Aaron Rai who has been using iron covers longer. Indeed, he won while using them at the 2020 Scottish Open.

JT’s putter cover flex

JT with the full flex on his fellow players as he has his own “Inspired by” Justin Thomas cover in the bag.

Santa?

Does Santa moonlight as a caddy on the PGA Tour?

Xander: Always working

A few weeks ago it was a Quintic. This week, it’s an iPad on a very clever stand. Xander is always working hard on his putting!

Louis Loves that Callaway wedge

Louis Oosthuizen has been a long-time Ping guy, but the one club he can’t seem to shake is his Callaway PM grind wedge.

A couple of guys talking putters

Collin Morikawa—with his TaylorMade FCG Spider—was spotted talking to Rory McIlroy, who looks to have gone back to a TaylorMade Juno blade putter from his Spider.

Fleetwood hanging onto his TVD Vokey wedge

Tommy Fleetwood has transitioned almost his entire bag to TaylorMade, but a couple of the holdout include a classic Vokey TVD wedge.

More Autoflex testing on tour?

Adam Scott looks to be more than just a fashion influencer out tour. Louis Oosthuizen was spotted talking with Mr. Scott about his Autoflex shaft and even gave it a few wiggles.

DJ testing all kinds of shafts

Look at this action!

As reported last week in the Genesis Invitational Tour Truck Report, DJ was testing a new LA Golf shafts DJ Proto, and this week at the WGC, it looks like the testing continues. He was spotted hitting his tried-and-true Fujikura 661, a Ventus, and the LA Proto. What will go into play Thursday, nobody knows (I mean we will, of course…).

Testing looked to have continued on Wednesday—DJ was rotating through three different drivers on the range, along with some prototype putters on the green.

Laurie Canter with Honma blades

Although not a household name (yet), Laurie Canter is inside the top 100 in the official world golf rankings and has a very interesting bag of clubs—including Ping woods, Honma blades, and both Callaway and Titleist wedges.

New Ping putter line spotted

Ping loves to seemingly randomly drop new putters, and although we don’t have the tech story on these yet, we can conclude that there is some sort of insert technology to go along with some sort of heavy (likely tungsten) heel and toe weights to boost MOI.

Check out all of our galleries below

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Genesis Invitational Tour Truck Report: DJ testing driver shafts, Xander’s new irons

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It’s always a big week at Riviera, but from a tour truck standpoint, it was actually pretty mellow. Some testing here and there with the big news being DJ testing a bunch of driver shafts. Anytime a world No. 1 does anything to his setup, it’s always news.

Titleist

Brian Harman switched into a Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 5 X  in his TSi2 (9 degrees). 

Lanto Griffin went from TSi2 (10 degrees) driver to TSi3 driver (10 degrees). His shaft of choice is the Project X HZURDUS Smoke Black 70 6.5 TX.

Aaron Dill AKA @vokeywedgerep

Lots of fresh grooves this week (staffers)

Cam Davis 60T

Jordan Spieth 60T

Matt Jones 60-12D

Adam Scott 60-12D @10 (new)

Robert Streb 60-04L

“Adam Scott is making changes to his 60-12D. Mentioned with firmer conditions, he wanted to feel less forward bounce on his lob wedge.  Took his 60-12D and reduced forward bounce and camber down two degrees.  This allowed the face to get closer to the ground and move his strike a little higher up the face in increasing his launch slightly.”

Ping

Scott Harrington put a new G425 LST 3-wood (14.5 degrees) in the bag this week. It’s equipped with a Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X shaft.

Kevin Streelman (non-staffer) added a bit of loft to his G425 LST (9 degrees). Streelman still has the five-plus-year-old Aldila Rogue Silver 125MSI 70 TX.

TaylorMade

Collin Morikawa tested irons with TaylorMade rep Adrian Rietveld working back into a combo set he has preferred in the past. The current combo this week with TaylorMade’s P7MC (4-6) into P730 (7-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts.

Collin Morikawa WITB

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8 degrees @ 9.5)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited  70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium “Rocket” (14 degrees @ 13.5)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited D+ 80 TX

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM2 Max Rescue (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Hybrid 100 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7MC (4-6), TaylorMade P730 (7-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (52-12F, 56-14F) TaylorMade Hi Toe2 (60-07LB)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: TaylorMade FCG

Ball: TP5 21

Rather monumental potential iron shaft switch for Rory McIlroy: @trottiegolf shared a truck ticket with an order for a new set of P7MB’s with True Temper Dynamic Gold X7’s. We will see if they go in play.

 

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A post shared by Chris Trott (@trottiegolf)

Dustin Johnson was doing some serious shaft testing this week and was spotted with a LAGP Proto “Made for DJ” prototype. Johnson is currently trying to find a shaft that would complement the SIM2/Max head. This particular prototype has a VERY stable tip, which complements DJ’s desire to never miss it left.

LAG DJ Proto 2 of 2 (LAG made two trotos to test). The shaft is 73 grams, which is a bit heavier than his normal gamer.

If it goes in this week, we will get more info. Stay tuned.

Callaway

Xander Schauffele put a new set of “Raw” TCB irons in play (4-PW) with Nippon Pro Modus3 130X shafts. Xander was also testing a Mavrik Sub Zero 4-wood with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X and Mavrik 7-wood with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 9 X. He will also most likely have his Mizuno MP-20 HMB 3-iron in play this week at Riviera.

Kevin Na tested an Epic Speed Sub Zero Triple Diamond (9 degrees) with a Graphite Design Tour AD GP 6 TX shaft.

Francesco Molinari tested an Epic Speed Triple Diamond driver (9 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 6 X and an Epic Speed 3-wood (15 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 7 X. 

Marc Leishman was also testing Epic Speed Triple Diamond (9) with a Fujikura Speeder EVO IV 757 TX.

ScottEG/KBS

Luke List had a new set of PXG 0311 ST irons built up with KBS Tour V 125 S+ shafts.

Bryson Dechambeau made some loft adjustments to his SIK Proto putter. BAD was looking to add a bit of loft to get the ball on top of the grass a bit better heading into the Florida swing.

Free agents/miscellaneous

Charl Schwartzel was testing Mitsubishi Chemical’s new Kai’li Blue 70 TX and 80 TX shafts in his TaylorMade SIM2 3- and 5-woods.

Harold Varner III tested a Ping G425 LST (10.5 degrees @11.5) with a Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 7 X shaft.

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