PARIS — In a move to become the market leader in golf apparel, Adidas AG’s TaylorMade-adidas Golf division is to acquire the beleaguered American golf sportswear specialist Ashworth Inc. for $72.8 million.
The deal, unveiled Monday, includes the assumption of $46.3 million of Ashworth’s debt and values the shares of the Carlsbad, Calif.-based firm at $1.90 each. Ashworth’s largest group of shareholders, the Knightspoint Partners group, which owns more than 16 percent of its outstanding shares, has agreed to sell them.
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Ashworth joins the Adidas group’s TaylorMade and Adidas Golf brands in the TaylorMade-adidas Golf division, which posted flat sales for the first half. “This acquisition underscores our commitment to continued growth in the golf category,” stated Adidas chairman and chief executive officer Herbert Hainer.
Ashworth, which is the official apparel licensee of the Callaway Golf Company and produces headwear and apparel under The Game and Kudzu brands, began exploring the possibility of a sale after reporting disappointing nine-month results last month, including a $9.6 million third-quarter loss on sales that retreated 8.7 percent.
With Ashworth, TaylorMade-adidas Golf widens its product offer, strengthens its distribution and further builds its marketing presence, Adidas said, pointing to Ashworth’s strong heritage and authenticity in the golfing world.
The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.