The Greg Norman Collection is changing hands.
This story first appeared in the February 2, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
MacGregor Golf Co., parent company of the men’s and women’s golf collection, is expected to announce today that it has sold Greg Norman to The Tharanco Group, which has owned such diverse brands as Bill Blass, Poleci, Doo.Ri and Joseph A.
Terms were not disclosed but financing has been provided by the CIT Group.
Michael Setola, the president and chief executive officer of MacGregor, will be ceo of Greg Norman and is also a partner in a new company, Tharanco Lifestyle LLC.
In an interview with WWD on Sunday, Setola said MacGregor’s hard goods business in Asia was recently sold to management there and its North American business is also on the verge of being sold to an undisclosed outside partner, leaving Greg Norman as the soft goods possession.
Setola, who joined MacGregor/Greg Norman in February 2008, said he began searching over the summer for a partner with “a strong and resourceful operations platform with deep experience in apparel sourcing and brand building.” He hired the Marketing Management Group (MMG), which found that there were “several interested parties,” including Tharanco.
Setola said Tharanco “has significant global reach, is very well financed and experienced in licensing, which will allow Greg Norman Collection to increase sales and profits both internationally and domestically.” He declined to say how large the brand is, citing its private status, but did say it is sold in 2,500 accounts in the U.S., primarily green-grass shops, and it has 11 international licenses.
Under the new ownership arrangement, Setola said, emphasis will be placed on adding more licenses and creating a true lifestyle collection.
The new agreement is effective immediately and Greg Norman Collection will continue to be managed and sold by its existing sales team, the company said. Tharanco will eventually take over the sourcing and back-office operations, Setola noted.
Greg Norman Collection was established in 1992 and is inspired by professional golfer Greg Norman, also known as The Shark, who remains involved in the brand. Tharanco, which is headed by chief executive officer Haresh Tharani, was founded in 1998.