My first time at Topgolf was on a Friday night in Tampa, Florida
. There was electricity in the air (and it was overflowing with a pre-Covid-19 crowd).
I knew Callaway Golf owned a minority stake in the company, and from the moment I walked in the door -- rock music blasting and smiles coming from those on the way out -- I understood why.
I’m not sure I can adequately describe the experience in a one-line catch phrase.
Is it golf meets bowling? That doesn’t do it justice -- not even close. Or how about a golf party where everyone’s invited, and fun is mandatory? I think that’s a little closer to the truth.
Callaway and Topgolf announced their intention to combine as one enterprise in October. Now that the merger is complete, I expect to see continued growth in the "off course" game of golf, perfectly timed for the country's effort to put Covid-19 in the rear view mirror. If you want to get excited about what's in store, check out the video below. The official press release from Callaway and Topgolf follows.
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Callaway Golf Company (“Callaway”) (NYSE:ELY) and Topgolf International, Inc. (“Topgolf”) announced today that the companies have completed their previously announced merger, following approval by shareholders of both companies. The combined enterprise creates an unrivaled tech-enabled golf company delivering leading golf equipment, apparel and entertainment.
Topgolf is a leading tech-enabled golf entertainment business, with an innovative platform comprised of its groundbreaking open-air venues, revolutionary Toptracer technology, and innovative media platform. 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 results.
“Callaway and Topgolf are just better together,” said Chip Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Callaway. “Callaway’s leadership in the global golf equipment market and geographic diversity, combined with Topgolf’s revolutionary technology platform and access to golfers of all abilities, will allow both companies to accelerate growth and create competitive advantages. This transformational merger has already created and will continue to create meaningful shareholder value. We are very excited to begin this next chapter and I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish together.”
Erik Anderson, Executive Chairman of Topgolf, added, “I am tremendously proud of everything we’ve achieved at Topgolf since our founding in 2000. Our dedicated team of associates, groundbreaking Toptracer technology, and proprietary venues and media platforms have transformed the intersection of sports and entertainment. Together with Callaway, Topgolf has the opportunity to build upon its rapid growth story, bring the Topgolf experience to new communities and advance our mission of making golf a more inclusive and accessible game.”
Under the terms of the merger agreement, which was previously announced on October 27, 2020, Callaway issued approximately 90 million shares of its common stock to the shareholders of Topgolf, excluding Callaway, which previously held approximately 14% of Topgolf’s outstanding shares. Immediately following the merger, Callaway shareholders owned approximately 51.3% and former Topgolf shareholders (excluding Callaway) owned approximately 48.7% of the outstanding shares of the combined company.
Board of Directors for the Combined Company
The combined company’s Board of Directors now consists of 13 directors, including three new directors appointed by Topgolf shareholders. Chip Brewer will continue to lead the combined company as President and Chief Executive Officer. Dolf Berle will continue to lead the Topgolf business through a transition period, at which time he intends to step down to pursue other leadership opportunities. John Lundgren will continue as Chairman of the Board of the combined company, while Erik Anderson will serve as Vice Chairman.
The combined company will be headquartered in Carlsbad, California with Topgolf continuing to operate from its headquarters in Dallas, Texas.
Goldman Sachs served as the financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel to Callaway. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan served as financial advisors and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal counsel to Topgolf.
About Callaway Golf Company
Callaway Golf Company (NYSE: ELY) is a premium golf equipment and active lifestyle company with a portfolio of global brands, including Callaway Golf, Odyssey, OGIO, TravisMathew and Jack Wolfskin. Through an unwavering commitment to innovation, Callaway manufactures and sells premium golf clubs, golf balls, golf and lifestyle bags, golf and lifestyle apparel and other accessories. For more information please visit www.callawaygolf.com, www.odysseygolf.com, www.OGIO.com, www.travismathew.com, and www.jack-wolfskin.com.
About Topgolf Entertainment Group
Topgolf Entertainment Group is a technology-enabled global sports and entertainment leader built on a foundation of community, inclusivity and fun. What started as a simple idea to enhance the game of golf has grown into a movement where people from all walks of life connect at the intersection of technology and sports entertainment. Topgolf Entertainment Group's platforms include Topgolf venues, Topgolf Media, Topgolf International, Toptracer and Topgolf Swing Suite. To learn more about Topgolf, visit www.topgolfentertainmentgroup.com or follow Topgolf on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.