Titleist & FootJoy sold to Fila Group

Acushnet deal boost in emerging Asia markets

Titleist & FootJoy sold to Fila Group

The Acushnet Company, which has its European  base in St Ives, Cambridgeshire and includes the top-selling Titleist and FootJoy brands, has been sold to a group led by Fila Korea Ltd, owner of the Fila brand and Mirae Asset, the largest private equity firm in South Korea.

One of the largest golf equipment companies in the world with annual sales of more than $1.2 billion in 2010, Acushnet has been sold by its US parent company Fortune Brands.  

Says Acushnet its chairman Wally Uhlein: “The Acushnet Company has long been the trusted steward of two of golf’s most revered and iconic brands, and has perpetuated the longest running records of golf equipment success in the game.

“The Fila Korea and Mirae group understands and appreciates our golf industry leadership, passionate associates, and unique and enduring culture. Together, with our new owners, our team is looking forward to strengthening and building upon the global success of the Titleist and FootJoy brands.”

Acushnet will remain as a stand alone company with its worldwide headquarters remaining in Fairhaven, Massachusetts and led by Uihlein and his current management team. ??The Golf Division was founded in 1932, with the first Titleist golf ball introduced in 1935. It was acquired by Fortune Brands in 1976 and added  FootJoy to its portfolio in 1985.

The Titleist golf ball has been the No.1 ball for more than 60 years while Titleist golf clubs have have a reputation as a premium clubs for performance, quality and fitting, used by many of the game's leading players. ??FootJoy has led the golf shoe category for more than 70 years and golf glove leadership for a similar time.

“We appreciate what Fortune Brands has contributed to the growth of our business over the last 35 years,” said Uihlein. “The support, encouragement and guidance they provided helped fuel our leadership position in the industry and marketplace.  Together, we achieved record-setting milestones.”

Established in Italy in 1911, Fila is a leading sport and leisure footwear and apparel brand that is distributed worldwide. The group, also includes the National Pension Service of South Korea and the country's largest government-owned bank.

“The acquisition of Acushnet transforms our platform with a stable of premier world class brands,” said Gene Yoon, Chairman and CEO, Fila Korea, Ltd. “We believe that Acushnet brands have incredible new opportunities for growth in the emerging markets in Asia.” ??The sale is subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and the transaction is expected to close this summer.

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