Canada’s Golf Town to acquire Golfsmith

Toronto-based Golf Town announced May 14 that it reached an agreement to acquire Golfsmith International Holdings Inc., creating the largest golf specialty retail chain in North America.

The deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012, will combine Golf Town’s 61 stores and Austin, Texas-based Golfsmith’s 85 retail locations. The proposed sale calls for Golf Town to pay $6.10 per share in cash.

“This transaction will give us a formidable footprint in North America and will also provide a strong platform for future growth,” said Don Morrison, senior managing director of OMERS Private Equity, which acquired Golf Town in September 2007.

Added Martin Hanaka, Golfsmith’s CEO: “We hold Golf Town in the highest regard and believe them to be an ideal partner to take Golfsmith to the next stage of growth.”

Once the transaction is completed, Hanaka will serve as the CEO of the combined entity. Sue Gove, president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Golfsmith, will become president and COO of the new business. Meanwhile, Ron Hornbaker, interim CEO of Golf Town, will accept the role of executive vice president – stores.

Golf Town, which is Canada’s largest golf retailer, operates 54 stores throughout the country and expanded into the U.S. market in 2011, by opening six stores in the greater Boston area. Golfsmith long has been one of the major golf retailers in the U.S., and its retail operations include Internet and catalog sales.

OMERS is one of Canada’s largest pension funds with over $55 billion in net assets, and its private equity activities include ownership of businesses in North America and Europe.

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