Callaway Golf (NYSE: ELY) announced that it has officially reached an agreement to combine with Topgolf, creating an unrivaled golf and entertainment leader.
- Highly Complementary Businesses with Reach Across the Entire $80 Billion Global Golf Industry
- Compelling Family of Brands Well Positioned to Capitalize on Outdoor Consumer Trends
- Combined Businesses Create Clear Line of Sight to More Than $1 Billion of Adjusted EBITDAS
- Callaway Announces Record Preliminary Results for the Third Quarter 2020
CARLSBAD, CA and DALLAS, TX — October 27, 2020 — Callaway (NYSE:ELY) and Topgolf Entertainment Group (“Topgolf”) today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Callaway and Topgolf will combine in an all-stock transaction creating a global golf and entertainment leader. 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 is the leading tech-enabled golf entertainment business, with an innovative platform that comprises its groundbreaking open-air venues, revolutionary Toptracer technology and innovative media platform with a differentiated position in eSports. Topgolf generated approximately $1.1 billion in revenue in 2019 and has grown at a 30% compound annual rate since 2017. Callaway is a leader in the global golf equipment market with a scale position in active-lifestyle soft goods and a proven ability to deliver strong returns, including company growth that has exceeded golf market growth for seven consecutive years.
The companies together will be able to accelerate growth, including through:
- Fully Funded High Growth Opportunities: Topgolf is a high-growth platform with attractive unit economics across its businesses that will benefit from Callaway’s strong financial position that can fully fund Topgolf’s growth plans at an attractive cost of capital.
- A Highly Complementary Fit: The two companies share a focus on golf and active-lifestyle consumers. With Topgolf’s 90 million consumer touch points a year, the combined company will benefit from a compelling family of brands with reach across multiple channels including retail, venues, e-commerce and digital communities. Topgolf is introducing new players to the game of golf, a powerful trend that benefits Callaway’s golf equipment and soft goods businesses.
- Enhanced Resources to Accelerate Growth: The combined company’s industry-leading sales, marketing and partnership infrastructure will drive traffic, increase same venue sales and accelerate conversion of new business opportunities. Together, Callaway and Topgolf’s significantly expanded consumer reach will drive increased promotion, exposure and sales of equipment and apparel to golfers and non-golfers alike.
- Innovation to Drive Long-term Potential: A shared innovative culture creates exciting long-term opportunities including the potential to distribute content across connected screens for instruction, fitness and lifestyle.
“Together, Callaway and Topgolf create an unrivaled golf and entertainment business,” said Chip Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Callaway. “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. Callaway’s strong financial profile will enable the combined company to accelerate innovation, develop exciting new products and experiences, and create compelling value for shareholders, while providing the dedicated teams of both companies more opportunities to showcase their talents and complementary capabilities.”
“We are excited to join the Callaway family and strengthen the experiences we create at the intersection of sports and tech-driven entertainment,” said Dolf Berle, Chief Executive Officer of Topgolf. “Fueled by a tremendous team of associates and a diverse offering across our venues, Toptracer, and media platform, Topgolf is truly changing the landscape of the industry by making golf more inclusive and accessible to people of all ages, demographics and skill levels. As part of Callaway, we plan to grow our leadership position by leveraging Callaway’s brand reputation, industry relationships and financial strength to connect more communities around the world to the Topgolf experience.”
Callaway first invested in Topgolf in 2006, and the companies have maintained a strong partnership since, including an exclusive golf partnership agreement at all Topgolf venues. Topgolf has achieved rapid growth and strong customer engagement since its founding in 2000, driven by several platforms, including:
- Venues – The company’s signature platform defined by its immersive gameplay, proprietary technology and local, high-quality food and beverage offers a unique social destination for all. With its open-air, climate-controlled bays, Topgolf venues are structurally advantaged to benefit from consumer preferences for outdoor activities. Topgolf has 63 locations around the globe – including a robust pipeline of new openings – serving more than 23 million guests in 2019 with more than 50% of consumers identifying as non-golfers.
- Toptracer – A leading ball-tracing technology best known for transforming televised golf is now being brought directly to everyday golf. By bringing professional tracing technology to mobile devices and driving ranges, Topgolf is enhancing the golf experience. The technology has been deployed to more than 7,500 range bays in three years (representing approximately one percent penetration of the total addressable market). This business unit has achieved revenue growth of 233% in the past three years.
- Media – With World Golf Tour, a leading mobile golf game with 28 million members as of 2019, Topgolf has built a strong digital presence in the game of golf. The company’s proprietary, in-house gaming capabilities also create innovative sponsorship and consumer engagement opportunities throughout Topgolf’s community of players competing across the company’s interconnected digital and in-person platforms.
“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. Our track record of creativity and diversity of offerings will only grow stronger as part of Callaway, a global leader in the industry,” said Erik Anderson, executive chairman of Topgolf. “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.”
In addition to Callaway, the current Topgolf ownership includes Providence Equity Partners, WestRiver Group and Dundon Capital Partners, which added: “This is a natural combination that brings together two complementary businesses at the center of one of the most dynamic sports and entertainment experiences available today. We are excited to support their continued growth as a united company.”
 Golf Datatech industry report published September 21, 2020