TaylorMade-adidas Golf, a subsidiary of sporting goods giant Adidas Group, is to buy golf inspired sportwear maker Ashworth Inc for $28.1m in a deal that makes it one of the world's leading golf apparel companies.

The transaction price is $1.90 per share in cash and includes the assumption of $46.3m of Ashworth debt.

The acquisition not only enables TaylorMade-adidas Golf to widen its product range, but also strengthens its distribution platform and gives it an opportunity to extend its marketing presence.

"Ashworth is a well-established, authentic golf apparel brand with a strong heritage and represents an excellent addition to TaylorMade and Adidas Golf," said Adidas AG chairman and CEO Herbert Hainer.

"This acquisition underscores our commitment to continued growth in the golf category."
TaylorMade-Adidas Golf has made no secret of the fact that it wants to be the best performance golf company in the world, and adding Ashworth is another step towards achieving this goal.

"The Ashworth brand fits perfectly into TaylorMade-adidas Golf's line-up of brands and together we will be able to increase efficiency and drive the golf apparel business going forward, leveraging a broad set of resources," said Allan Fletcher, CEO of Ashworth Inc.

Ashworth sells its men's and women's sportswear in golf pro shops, resorts, upscale department and specialty stores and to corporate customers.

It is also an official apparel licensee of Callaway Golf Company and makes headwear and apparel under The Game and Kudzu brands.

Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf sells golf clubs and balls under the TaylorMade brand and Adidas Golf footwear and apparel.

The unit posted sales of EUR804m (US$1,085m) in 2007 and has seen first-half sales rise 11% in the current fiscal year.