EVNROLL PUTTERS SOLD
News dropped late last week that Guerin Rife’s Evnroll Putters has been sold to the Korean high-tech firm CREATZ, the parent company of theUneekor golf launch monitor company.
First reported by Pulse News of Korea, the deal calls for CREATZ to acquire a 70-percent ownership stake in the Carlsbad-based company. Rife will remain as CEO and chief designer. The existing management team will remain and sit on the board of directors.
The selling price is an estimated $15.2 million.
CREATZ, Uneekor and Evnroll
CREATZ is a growing Korean tech firm with a reported $50 million in sales in 2022. Its subsidiary, Uneekor, accounted for $17.6 million on its own.
“We feel that Evnroll, as a 100-percent U.S. milled and technology-driven putter line, is a great fit for Uneekor’s precision analytics in the launch monitor space,” said Eddie Lee, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for CREATZ. “Together, UNEEKOR and Evnroll will represent the highest level of game improvement, encompassing the full spectrum of performance-enhancing technology from tee to green.”
The Pulse report says the acquisition was motivated in part by the January 2024 launch of TGL, a technology-infused simulator golf league founded by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Additionally, CREATZ hopes to leverage synergies with TGL, Uneekor and the growing popularity of home golf simulators.
According to Pulse, CREATZ plans to develop putting analysis features and putting practice programs for Uneekor.
Growing Korean Presence
CREATZ is the latest Korean company to gain a foothold in the U.S. golf equipment market. Last year, Doal Private Equity acquired Super Stroke. In 2021, Centroid Partners bought TaylorMade. A year later, Centroid invested in Concert Golf Partners, owners of 25 high-end golf clubs in the U.S.
In 2011, FILA Korea Ltd. purchased Acushnet for a reported $1.23 billion.
Pulse reports that Evnroll putters are a big seller in Korea, ranking second in putter market share. The deal gives CREATZ and Uneekor a foothold in North America.
“Evnroll was founded on delivering forward look, real innovation and technology that enhances every aspect of putter design and performance,” Rife said in a statement. “Uneekor has the same vision for full-swing analytics.
“We’re excited for the future and what this positive injection of resources and knowledge will do for both our businesses.”
A Sensible Acquisition?
A technology and launch monitor company buying an equipment manufacturer is, at the very least, intriguing. Uneekor and CREATZ obviously believe its upcoming putter analytics technologies will help sell both putters and launch monitors. Additionally, off-course and non-traditional golf is growing in North America. The National Golf Foundation says the off-course market grew nearly 13 percent last year. And COVID helped spawn significant growth in the home golf simulator market.
Rife developed a reputation for putter designs in the early 2000s. He started life as an advertising executive in Chicago before moving to Florida and starting his own agency. He did some work for Disney but his first foray into golf was designing a putter training aid with David Leadbetter.
That led to Rife’s first design, a cavity-backed mallet called True Blue. The mallet featured a milled-out area in the back to scoop the ball up. That milling had the unexpected effect of creating a low CG and extreme heel-toe weighting. And that design led to his idea to put grooves in the putter face to create a more consistent roll.
In 2003, Rife introduced his famous 2-Bar putter which quickly became a mini-blockbuster hit on the Champions Tour. However, rapid growth and the need for more investors meant Rife lost control of his company. He sold it to a Seattle-based company in 2009.
Rife introduced Evnroll Putters in 2016.
U.S. golf putter brand Evnroll acquired by Korean maker of QED golf simulators
CREATZ Inc., a Korean company known for manufacturing QED golf simulator, has acquired Evnroll Putters, a U.S.-based golf putter brand that ranks second in sales in the Korean putter market.
According to sources last week, CREATZ signed a contract that gives it control of over half of Evnroll’s shares and management rights, and it recently made the payment for the acquisition, which is said to be worth around 20 billion won ($15.2 million).
Despite the acquisition, Guerin Rife, chief executive officer and chief designer of Evnroll, as well as the existing management team, will retain some of their shares and continue to sit on the board for business operation.
CREATZ is expanding its operations in the U.S. market through its subsidiary, Uneekor. It is also considering merging Uneekor and Evnroll in the future, sources said. The acquisition of Evnroll was reportedly motivated by the upcoming launch of TGL, a tech-infused screen golf league set to debut in the U.S. market next year, which CREATZ hopes to leverage for synergies.
CREATZ’s decision to acquire Evnroll was also influenced by the growing popularity of golf simulators in the U.S. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are planning to launch TGL in January next year, which is expected to contribute to the growth of the virtual golf market and increase the demand for high-tech golf simulators.
According to the National Golf Foundation, the off-course golf population, which includes indoor golf simulators, is showing an annual growth rate of 12.6 percent in 2022.
Following the acquisition of Evnroll, CREATZ plans to develop putting analysis features and enhance its putter practice program in the golf simulation field. It also plans to release new putter training equipment with improved technology. With the acquisition of a premium U.S. golf brand, CREATZ is expected to establish a foothold in the conservative and closed culture of the PGA, the professional golf association in the U.S.
With Korean companies acquiring well-known global golf brands every year, their status will continue to rise in the global market.
Last year, Daol Private Equity, a private equity fund management company, acquired global leading putter grip company SuperStroke in cooperation with THE VC, a distance measuring device manufacturer. Centroid Investment Partners acquired TaylorMade in 2021 and invested in Concert Golf Partners, which owns 25 luxury golf clubs in the U.S., the following year.
With the success of its overseas M&A, CREATZ is expected to go public as early as the end of this year. The company attracted 27 billion won from Otium Capital, QUAD Investment Management, UTC Investment and Samyang International. CREATZ generated sales of 67.1 billion won last year, up 46 percent on year. Uneekor’s revenue reached 23.5 billion won.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]
[단독] 퍼터名家 '이븐롤' 한국 기업이 샀다
크리에이츠, 200억원대에 인수
한국 기업 크리에이츠가 골프 퍼터 전문업체로 유명한 미국의 '이븐롤(EVNROLL)'을 전격 인수했다. 빨간색 로고로 한국 골퍼들에게도 친숙한 이븐롤은 고가 제품이지만 뛰어난 직진성을 내세워 국내 퍼터 시장에서 판매량 2위를 차지하고 있다.
14일 투자은행(IB) 업계에 따르면 크리에이츠는 이븐롤 지분 절반 이상과 경영권을 확보하는 계약을 체결하고 최근 인수대금을 납입했다. 거래 규모는 200억원대로 파악된다. 인수 후에도 이븐롤 최고경영자(CEO)이자 수석디자이너인 게린 라이프와 기존 경영진은 지분 일부를 보유하며 이사회 멤버로 남아 공동 경영을 이어가기로 했다. 게린 라이프는 국내에서 '서희경 퍼터'로 알려진 라이프(Rife) 퍼터로 유명하다.
크리에이츠는 골프 시뮬레이터 '큐이디(QED)' 제조사다. 자회사 유니코를 통해 미국 시장에서 사업을 확대하고 있다. 향후 유니코와 이븐롤 합병도 고려하고 있는 것으로 알려졌다. 크리에이츠는 내년 미국 시장에서 스크린골프 리그 'TGL'이 출범하는 점을 고려해 시너지 효과를 노리고 인수를 결정한 것으로 전해졌다.
(출처 : 매일경제, https://www.mk.co.kr/news/sports/10712958)