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SBD/May 23, 2011/Finance
Fortune Brands Agrees To Sell Acushnet To Group Led By Fila Korea
Published May 23, 2011
SHAPING THE INDUSTRY: GOLFWEEK.com's Gene Yasuda wrote the deal "underscores not only Asia-Pacific's interest in golf, but its growing influence in shaping the sport and its industry." Ownership of Acushnet "reflects the region's clout and holds the promise of boosting Acushnet's sales overseas" (GOLFWEEK.com, 5/20). Acushnet CEO Wally Uihlein said, "This just underscores the next chapter in the company. We're a global company now. We already knew it, but now we're officially global. The last thing you want to be is U.S.-centric" (AP, 5/20). GOLF.com's Rob Sauerhaft wrote, "At first glance, this merger appears to be a win-win for both sides. Fila Korea, a $550 million company, gets a venerable $1.2 billion brand to make its entrée into the emerging Asian equipment market" (GOLF.com, 5/20). GOLF WORLD's E. Michael Johnson writes both Acushnet and the Fila-led consortium "appear to be winners." Acushnet is a "cash cow, and Fila and Mirae have the financial wherewithal to wait for the return on their investment" (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 5/23 issue). GOLFCHANNEL.com's Rex Hoggard noted the "pending sale of Acushnet had been a hot topic within the industry for months, with bids reportedly being made" by Nike and adidas. The big question will be what the future holds for Titleist, the "industry leader in golf ball, glove, shoe and outerwear sales." At The Players earlier this month, 90 golfers used Titleist balls, "compared with 17 for the nearest competitor." In the short term, the new owners "seem content with the status quo" (THEGOLFCHANNEL.com, 5/20).