ClubCorp rebrands to Invited amid plans to go public

Apollo Global Management considers $4.5 billion IPO for the private golf club
  • Image: ClubCorp. Mission Hills Country Club, Rancho Mirage, Calif.

ClubCorp announced a company rebrand and name change to “Invited” that will roll out in the coming months. The announcement came just days after Bloomberg reported that private equity firm Apollo Global Management is considering whether to move forward with a $4.5 billion initial public offering for the private golf club operator. 

Bloomberg reported Apollo is working with advisors on an IPO process, and insiders said the plans have been in the works for some time. 

Apollo paid $2.2 billion for the company in 2017, which included $1.1 billion in cash and the assumption of $1.1 billion in debt. At the time, ClubCorp was a public company and the sale price was 30.7% more than the closing stock price. The acquisition represented the end of a four-year run as a public company. 

The last time ClubCorp reported its revenue and EBITDA in 2016, it showed a $3.6 million profit. That was after six consecutive years of growth. But the company had also invested $690 million to "reinvent" its clubs. It had also acquired more than 56 golf and country clubs for a total of over $400 million in the prior decade.  

Since then, ClubCorp has continued to acquire courses, and the pandemic has fueled membership growth at clubs nationwide. 

People speaking to Bloomberg asked not to be identified because the matter is private and noted the offering could happen this year, but no final decision has been made. Neither a spokesperson for ClubCorp nor a representative for Apollo has commented on the story. 

What they are talking about is the new company name and fundamental belief that everyone is “Invited.” 

“Invited is not just a name. It’s everything we are,” said CEO David Pillsbury. “Invited, as a brand identity, reflects that connection and emotion of who we are, our dedication to our clubs and members and where we are headed as a company. We relearned the value of human connection during the pandemic and this new identity of an open invitation that brings people together and reflects those connections.” 

Invited extends its brand of across four lines of business: 

  • 161 owned and operated golf and country clubs, with 205 golf courses and more than 1,000 tennis and pickleball courts.
  • 32 city and sports clubs.
  • Seven stadium clubs, located inside prominent college football stadiums.
  • Six BigShots Golf locations around the country with state-of-the-art virtual games and courses, sports bars, outdoor patios, mini golf, private event spaces and climate-controlled tee boxes. 

In 2018, ClubCorp bought a controlling interest in Topgolf competitor BigShots Golf and last year opened its first Texas location north of Fort Worth near Texas Motor Speedway. Last week, BigShots Golf announced it will open a location at Firestone Country Club later this year.

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