DELRAY BEACH, Florida – TaylorMade Golf is on the sales block again, according to a story on The New York Times. The New York Times says TaylorMade owner KPS has hired Morgan Stanley to broker a deal. KPS bought TaylorMade from adidas AG in 2017 for $425 million, but really only paid $200 million in cash.
Here’s where things go off the rails a bit: The Times says the deal could value TaylorMade at $2 billion, which means it’s likely looking at the valuations of equipment rivals Callaway Golf (current market cap $2.71 billion) and Titleist/FootJoy parent company Acushnet (current market cap $3.15 billion).
Callaway and Acushnet, however, each are more diversified companies than TaylorMade. Callaway, for example, owns apparel companies Travis Mathew and Jack Wolfskin, as well as luggage company Ogio. It’s also in the process of acquiring TopGolf. Acushnet’s market share domination in balls (Titleist) and golf footwear (FootJoy) has gone unchallenged for decades and neither show signs of weakening.
KPS has done a good job in bringing TaylorMade back from complete disaster and likely will get back more than its investment in any sale.
But $2 billion? That seems high – unless someone is desperate to pay it.
TaylorMade is the sponsor for many noted PGA Tour players including Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy.
A possible sale would come on the heels of a strong year for golf. Analytics company Golf DataTech reported the sport’s recreational participation in the United States surged 13.9 percent in 2020 versus 2019 as players sought outdoor opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic.