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May 20, 2011

Fila Korea and private equity firm buy Acushnet

Posted at 10:09 AM by David Dusek | Categories: Acushnet, Fila, FootJoy, Titleist

Fortune Brands Inc. announced Friday morning that it has reached an agreement to sell Acushnet, the parent company of Titleist and FootJoy, to Fila Korea Ltd. and Mirae Asset Private Equity of Korea for $1.225 billion in cash. According to a media release, Fortune Brands will earn $1.1 billion after taxes and expenses on the sale.

Fila Korea Ltd. is the owner of the Fila brand globally; according to the release, Mirae Asset Private Equity is the largest private equity firm in Korea.

The release went on to say:

"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,” said Wally Uihlein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Acushnet Company. “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.”

After the acquisition, Acushnet will remain as a standalone company through separate operation from Fila Korea, with its worldwide headquarters remaining in Fairhaven, Mass., and led by Uihlein and Acushnet’s current management team.

The release continued,

“The acquisition of Acushnet transforms our platform with a stable of premier world class brands,” said Gene Yoon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Fila Korea, Ltd. “We are equally excited to embrace Acushnet’s exceptional management team led by Wally Uihlein. With our extensive knowledge and reach in Asia, we believe that the Acushnet brands have incredible new opportunities for growth in the emerging markets in Asia.”

“We are very impressed with what Acushnet management and employees have accomplished so far,” said JH Ryu, CEO, Mirae Asset Private Equity. “We will fully support the company to remain focused on its core golf expertise and continue driving the growth of the industry.”

"Titleist and FootJoy are powerful global golf brands,” said Uihlein. “The fact that Asia Pacific represents over 30% of the world's total golf equipment spending, and that South Korean golfers are among the most passionate and organized in the game, is testament to the significant investment in the Acushnet Company by the Fila Korea and Mirae group. They recognize the strength of the brands and opportunities for growth particularly in golf's emerging regions.”

The final sale is expected to be completed later this summer.

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