TaylorMade sold by Adidas for $425m

Golf Equipment

TaylorMade now has new owners after finally being sold by Adidas. Equipment editor James Savage looks at the details

TaylorMade has been sold by Adidas to New York-based private equity firm KPS Capital in a reported $425m deal.

Adidas had been looking to sell off the golf arm of its business – which also includes the Ashworth and Adams brands – for over a year.

The news came the day after TaylorMade had announced a long-term club and ball deal with world number two Rory McIlroy.

Rory McIlroy signs TaylorMade equipment deal

They also signed 14-time major winner Tiger Woods to the TaylorMade family in January.

There has never been a suggestion that TaylorMade has been struggling as a brand as they continued to attract the world’s best players and make some of the most successful equipment on the market.

The top three players in the world – Jason Day, McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, along with Masters champion Sergio Garcia and Olympic gold-medalist Justin Rose – are all now using TaylorMade gear throughout the bag.

But Adidas had claimed it was the golf arm of the business as a whole which wasn’t as profitable as their other sports.

Adidas are now in a similar position to Nike, who announced they were no longer making clubs and balls last year for similar reasons.

Both brands will still remain in the golf footwear and clothing market. Adidas Golf will now be integrated into the German company’s main sports business.

It will be interesting to see if Adidas Golf show the same commitment to golf as Nike who have signed a raft of tour players-  including former Adidas staffer Jason Day – to their ranks.

Masters gallery

It’s interesting times as we now have McIlroy and Day both playing TaylorMade equipment while wearing Nike clothing and shoes.

Johnson, Garcia and Rose all currently remain with Adidas.

“TaylorMade is a leading global golf brand with an exceptionally strong market position,” Kasper Rorstead, CEO of adidas AG, said in a press release.

“We would like to thank all TaylorMade employees for their many contributions to our company and wish them all the best for a successful future under their new ownership.

“At the same time, we welcome all adidas Golf employees who will be integrated into our Adidas Heartbeat Sports Business Unit.”

Dustin Johnson Graphite shafts

David Shapiro, a managing partner of KPS, believes the move will lay the foundation for TaylorMade to grow.

“TaylorMade is one of the pre-eminent golf equipment brands worldwide, with leading-edge products that consistently provide consumers a distinct performance advantage over the competition,” Shapiro said.

“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.”

It remains to be seen what becomes of the Ashworth and Adams brands – neither of which have been heard from for some time…

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