The parent company of Titleist and FootJoy went public on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 28, trading as GOLF. The initial public offering was priced at $17 a share, way below a target price of $21 to $24, reflecting investors' concern about the golf market following Nike's exit from the sector, Adidas' plan to do the same and the bankruptcy of Golfsmith, the big American golf retailer.
With 74.1 million shares outstanding, the IPO values Acushnet at $1,260 million, marginally above the valuation of $1.23 billion given to the company in 2011 when Fila Korea and other investors bought it from Fortune Brands.
None of the proceeds of $329 million from the IPO are going to Acushnet, as all the 19.3 million shares floated on the stock exchange were sold by shareholders who wanted to cash out. Fila Korea agreed to buy 14.8 million shares from another Korean company, Magnum, giving it control over Acushnet with a stake of 53 percent, up from 33.1 percent prior to the IPO.
J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley were the lead underwriters in the transaction. The underwriters have a 30-day over-allotment option to purchase up to 2.9 million more shares from the sellers.
Acushnet had total sales of $1,503 billion in 2015, more than Callaway Golf or TaylorMade-Adidas Golf. It generated adjusted Ebitda of $214.7 million. In its prospectus, Acushnet claimed a 19 percent share of the global golf market, estimated to be worth $8 billion at the wholesale level. The U.S. aggregates 40 percent of it.
The company sees healthy growth opportunities in emerging markets, through product extensions into areas such as women's golf apparel, and the build-up of a direct-to-consumer business.