Titleist Owner Files for IPO as It Predicts Golf Resurgence

  • Acushnet says it plans to list under the GOLF ticker
  • JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley among banks underwriting the listing

Acushnet Holdings Corp., the golf products company that owns the Titleist and Pinnacle brands, has filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. to allow shareholders to cash out part of their stakes.

The company, which sells golf clubs, balls and clothing, plans to list under the ticker symbol GOLF, according to a regulatory filing Monday. The Fairhaven, Massachusetts-based company said it won’t receive any proceeds from the share sale, because the stock being sold is held by investors who own the company.

The company could fetch a valuation of about $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said last year. Acushnet is owned by Korean retailer Fila Korea Ltd. and a consortium of investors led by Mirae Asset, which acquired the company in 2011 for about $1.23 billion.

Net sales fell to $1.5 billion in 2015 from $1.54 billion a year earlier, according to the filing. Although the number of rounds of golf played in the U.S. declined between 2006 and 2014, the company said the industry’s fundamentals in developed markets such as the U.S., Europe and Japan have shown improvement since the beginning of 2015. More female and young golfers could also help the industry grow, it said.

Rival Adidas AG said in May that it’s looking for buyers for the bulk of its golf unit, including golf club brands TaylorMade and Adams, and Ashworth polos and cardigans.

JP Morgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, Nomura Holdings Inc. and UBS Group AG are the underwriters for the listing along with Credit Suisse Group AG, Daiwa Securities Group Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Jefferies Group and Wells Fargo & Co.

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