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Golf giant Acushnet, maker of Titleist, stumbles in IPO

A drawer full of golf club heads inside a custom Titleist truck earlier this year.
A drawer full of golf club heads inside a custom Titleist truck earlier this year. George Etheredge/New York Times

Acushnet Holdings Corp., which owns Titleist and other golf brands, made a bogey in its Friday debut on the New York Stock Exchange as its stock priced at $17 instead of the expected $21 to $24.

The Fairhaven Mass.-based company’s initial public offering of 19.3 million shares raised $329 million for its existing stockholders, who will keep the proceeds. Fila Korea Ltd., which bought Acushnet in 2011, retained 53 percent of the company’s common stock. The shares closed at $17.95 Friday.

Acushnet chief executive Wally Uihlein brushed off the slow start, saying the company’s well-known brands will allow it to overcome the golf equipment industry’s recent struggles.

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“The industry got caught up in the idea that everybody watching golf [on television] would be playing golf,” Uihlein said. “For the last five years we’ve been working through a correction to that oversupply.”

Acushnet employs about 5,200 full-time workers, including several hundred at golf-ball plants in New Bedford and Dartmouth. The company lost $1 million in 2015 on $1.5 billion in sales, according to federal filings.


Dan Adams can be reached at daniel.adams@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_Adams86.