Acushnet, a golfing equipment company behind brands such as Titleist and Footjoy, has filed for an initial public offering in the US, just hours after the US Open came to a dramatic end.
In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission the group, whose Titleist-branded equipment is used by professional golfers including Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth, said it is listing so its current shareholders, led by the sportswear group Fila Korea, are able to sell down their holdings. The company will not receive any proceeds from the share sale.
A consortium led by Fila, which also included South Korean private equity group Mirae, bought Acushnet in 2011 from Fortune Brands for $1.23bn.
Acushnet, which dates back to 1910, has built its reputation by producing the number one ball used in golf – under the Titleist brand – but has been expanding into other equipment, including clubs, wedges, putters and gloves. It also owns the leading golf shoe-maker FootJoy.
For the year to December 31, Acushnet generated sales of $1.5bn, down from $1.54bn in 2014. It made a net loss of $1m last year following a $21.6m profit a year earlier, according to the filing.
JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are acting as joint book-running managers of the offering.
The IPO has been announced with interest in golf at a high following a dramatic finish to the US Open. The tournament was won by American golfer Dustin Johnson but his victory was achieved against a backdrop of controversial decision-making over whether he had infringed rules or not.
But a number of golfing equipment makers have been struggling to get out of the bunker lately as the sport loses popularity in the US. Adidas recently decided to sell the bulk of its golf business.
Photo of golf pro Ian Poulter with a Titleist bag from company’s own brochure