Callaway buys driving range chain for $2 billion

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Callaway Golf

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Carlsbad-based Callaway Golf Co. announced Wednesday it has agreed to buy driving-range chain Topgolf Entertainment Group in an all- stock transaction valued at $2 billion.

The merger combines Callaway, a global golf equipment company, with Topgolf, which made its name as a party-golf attraction for players at all skill levels. Topgolf’s driving ranges allow players to track their golf balls electronically and play against other groups nearby while ordering food and drinks.

Callaway already owned 14 percent of Topgolf and first invested in the company in 2006.

“Together, Callaway and Topgolf create an unrivaled golf and entertainment business,” said Chip Brewer, president and CEO 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.”

Topgolf, founded in 2000, has 58 locations in North America.

The company has 33 additional venues in some stage of planning nationwide, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. In San Diego, the company has been talking with the Port of San Diego about building a 68,000 square foot facility on a seven-acre site along East Harbor Drive.

Port commissioners are seeking additional financial information and have yet to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Topgolf, according to the newspaper.

“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,” said Dolf Berle, CEO of Topgolf.

The merger is expected to be completed in early 2021, pending approval from both companys’ shareholders.

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