TaylorMade-adidas still faces buyout hurdles

A bid by TaylorMade-adidas Golf to purchase golf apparel maker Ashworth for $26.5 million in cash and assumption of  $46.3 million in debt still may run into roadblocks.

While the buyout  has the approval of  Ashworth's board of directors and by its largest shareholder, Knightspoint Partners of New York, which owns 16 percent of Ashworth stock, other shareholders may balk at the $1.90 per share purchase price, analysts said. The shares were trading as high as $3.75 per share two weeks prior to the Oct. 13 sale announcement.

One other sticking point in the agreement: Ashworth has a licensing agreement with TaylorMade arch-rival Callaway Golf to manufacture and sell Callaway-brand shirts, which have been a strong seller.

Ashworth, which has been plagued by management turnover and spotty sales performance in recent years, reported that sales were down nearly 7 percent in the first three quarters of this year. That resulted in a loss of $16 million compared to a $10.6 million loss in the same period last year.

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