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The share price of Accordia Golf, the Japanese golf course owner, have been shaking harder than a tour pro with the yips amid speculation that a tie-up with South Korea’s MBK Partners may have gone into the rough.
Accordia – formed in the early 2000s when Goldman Sachs went on a buying spree of golf courses from distressed owners – received an approach from the Korean private equity firm in July, potentially valuing it at more than $1.4bn and providing the share price with an 11.5 per cent pop on the day.
That price rise has been more than reversed today, potentially in response to a report by Reuters that MBK had scrapped plans to buy the company.
Accordia shares were down 12.4 per cent in mid-afternoon trade, but had been off as much as 13.1 per cent.
Matters haven’t entirely been made much clearer, with company releasing a statement today noting the recent Reuters piece and saying “Accordia Golf has made no such announcements.”
It added that the original Reuters piece in mid-July, which broke the story of the deal talks, “was not based on an announcement by Accordia Golf” and that since then the company “has not grasped any progress in consideration of the plan and has nothing to disclose regarding such plan at the present time.”
None of that has helped the share price today.
Since the deal first came to light, then yen has appreciated, which has the potential to make any inbound M&A to Japan less palatable. Demographics also make the outlook for golf in Japan challenging, with many elderly players abandoning the game and the number of regular linksmen and linkswomen about half its peak of the 1990s.