Two titans - Callaway and Topgolf - set to merge

Callaway and Topgolf  … Meet golf’s latest super couple. The two powerhouses have agreed to merge, a move that would create one of the industry’s more formidable enterprises.

Callaway is one of the world’s leading equipment makers, and Topgolf is one of golf’s more exciting and innovative entertainment businesses. Seeing Topgolf’s potential, Callaway first invested in Topgolf in 2006.

Now, it’s all in.

A news release from Callaway spelled out the deal: Callaway and Topgolf will combine in an all-stock transaction. The number of shares to be issued is based upon an implied equity value of Topgolf of approximately $2 billion, including the 14% already owned by Callaway.

Topgolf took the golf world by storm with its revolutionary concept of high tech golf ranges. Players can compete against each other thanks to its Toptracer technology, which tracks the ball’s flight.

Plus, there’s music, food, drinks. While traditional golf was having problems attracting younger people to courses, Topgolf had them waiting in line to get in.

Yes … To hit golf balls …

The pandemic did cause some temporary closures for Topgolf, but all of its outdoor venues have since reopened with safety measures in place.

And Callaway and the pandemic? Golf has surged since COVID-19 because it’s played outdoors and allows easily for socially distancing. Callaway recently announced it had a surprisingly strong third quarter.

As Chip Brewer, Callaway’s president and CEO, noted: “The world is rediscovering golf in a way that has led to a record quarter for our company. Both our golf equipment and soft goods businesses are recovering more quickly than we expected, and our third quarter projections reflect this momentum.”

Topgolf has 63 locations around the globe – including a pipeline of new openings – serving more than 23 million guests in 2019 with more than 50% of consumers identifying as non-golfers.

“Together, Callaway and Topgolf create an unrivaled golf and entertainment business,” Brewer said. “This combination unites proven leaders with a shared passion for delivering exceptional golf experiences for all – from elite touring professionals to new and aspiring entrants to the game. We’ve long seen the value in Topgolf and we are confident that together, we can create a larger, higher growth, technology-enabled global golf and entertainment leader.”

"Since its inception, Topgolf has created an innovative, tech-inspired twist on the golf driving range experience, turning it into a global entertainment and sports movement, said Erik Anderson, executive chairman of Topgolf.

“Our track record of creativity and diversity of offerings will only grow stronger as part of Callaway, a global leader in the industry. All of us are looking forward to building new experiences, reaching new audiences and solidifying our digital infrastructure as we connect communities around the globe."


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