Callaway Closes on Deal to Buy Remaining Share of Topgolf

    • Callaway already owns about 14% of Topgolf.
    • Topgolf’s properties have been popular as the COVID-19 pandemic drove socializing outdoors.

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Callaway Golf is buying the remaining share of Topgolf Entertainment it didn’t already own, the companies announced on Oct. 27.

The equipment company and driving range operator have an all-stock deal that values the latter at more than $2 billion. Callaway, which first invested in Topgolf in 2006 and already owned about 14% of the company, has a market value of about $2 billion. 

“We are excited to join the Callaway family and strengthen the experiences we create at the intersection of sports and tech-driven entertainment,” Topgolf CEO Dolf Berle said in an announcement. “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 now has a strong foothold in the growing sports entertainment space. 

Dallas-based Topgolf — which operates around 60 locations that offer games, food and drink across four countries — has been popular amid the COVID-19 pandemic as people have been encouraged to socialize outdoors. 

“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,” Erik Anderson, executive chairman of Topgolf, said. “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.”

Topgolf had reportedly been pursuing an IPO in early 2020 at a valuation of about $4 billion. Other investors include private equity firm Providence Equity Partners.

Callaway reported in August that its business was recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic “more quickly than expected.” While second quarter sales were down 34% year-over-year largely due to the shut down of retail operations and customers’ businesses, the company said there was a “significant increase” in its e-commerce sales.