SBJ/July 26 - August 1, 2004/Finance

Falconhead sells Golf Warehouse for $32 million

Sports buyout fund Falconhead Capital sold the Golf Warehouse for $32 million, more than five times the fund’s initial investment, wiping away losses the investor had suffered from previous Internet-related purchases. The Sportsman’s Guide bought the online golf retailer.

The only fund to invest exclusively in the sports and leisure sector, Falconhead bought the Golf Warehouse in late 1999 and helped make it one of the few online sporting goods retailers to turn a profit.

Moross
“This makes a huge dent,” said David Moross, chairman of the $220 million fund, of the losses Falconhead incurred from Internet investments. “We are in great shape.”

Falconhead began in 1998 as IMG/Chase Sports Capital. In 2000 Chase Manhattan Bank, which had pushed many of the Internet choices, departed, leaving investment control to Moross. Sports marketing power IMG remains a general partner, and two of its executives, Bob Kain and Barry Frank, are on the 18-member advisory board.

Falconhead owns a part of ESPN Classic Sport in Europe, as well as a spa business and maritime telecommunications network.

The fund’s vision has evolved since its inception from one that targeted sports almost entirely to one that now more broadly includes media and leisure.

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