Has TaylorMade Golf been sold to another company?
Rumors are swirling among golf equipment pundits that TaylorMade Golf has been sold to another big-name equipment brand.
Back in August 2015, Adidas AG -- the entity that owns the TaylorMade Golf equipment brand -- announced they were actively seeking buyers for "some or all of the company's TaylorMade business." It was purported that the company's R15 and AeroBurner drivers were losing out in the market as golfers instead flocked to competing driver makes and models.
"The problem which we have is the R15 and the AeroBurner are not selling," Adidas AG CEO Herbert Hainer told reporters nearly six months ago. "It's also fair to say our competitors are getting better."
Compounding the problem was the fact that Adams Golf, a sub-brand that TaylorMade-Adidas purchased in 2012, was floundering in the market. The first step on Hainer's wishlist was to unload Adams Golf with the possibility of also selling the TaylorMade brand, should a fitting buyer come along. Adidas AG also owns Ashworth golf apparel, which would also be included in any full-scale future sale.
Earlier this month, however, TaylorMade CEO David Abeles sent an email to his company's email subscribers that was quite encouraging to the brand's faithful. While his message reads more like a typical "let's have a great year" speech, Abeles gave no indication of any changes to the brand in the coming months. That didn't stop the wheels from turning.
What we have heard
The rumor mill went into overdrive in the days following Abeles's email blast. We have literally heard everything from "there are no buyers" to "expect a major announcement in days." Here is a list of what we have been told at GU regarding the status of TaylorMade's ownership. As you'll see, it pretty much runs the gamut.
- Multiple sources have informed us that Auschnet, the company that owns Titleist Golf and Footjoy, is the leading candidate to purchase the entirety of Adidas AG's golf brands. This includes TaylorMade, Adams, and Ashworth clothing. This is by far the most common theme we've heard over the last 48 hours.
- Another source who currently works in the golf equipment industry suggests that Under Armour was an interested party at one point. Listeners to our podcast know that UA is looking to get into the equipment game, having already approached (and subsequently denied by) Bridgestone to create a golf ball under the UA brand.
- Our friends at MyGolfSpy.com purchased a Facebook ad stating that TaylorMade has already been sold.
— MyGolfSpy (@MyGolfSpy) January 17, 2016
- In typical rumor fashion, conflicting reports suggest that no deal has been finalized with any other company and that everything will remain status quo. Our sources at TaylorMade, who are usually very responsive, have (smartly) gone quiet on this issue.
- UPDATE: We've recently learned that the Wanda Group, a China-based property management juggernaut and largest cinema (yes, movie theaters) ownership company on the globe, has been the primary potential buyer for months. There has been no confirmation that any deal has actually been agreed upon.
What do you think about the potential that TaylorMade Golf will be purchased by another brand? Will it affect your likelihood to purchase their equipment in the future?