The leading manufacturer of polyurethane golf cleats has been acquired by the leading manufacturer of golf tees.
Softspikes Inc., which created the market for plastic golf cleats, was acquired by golf-tee maker Pride Manufacturing LLC in a deal announced Jan. 22. Terms were not disclosed.
The new company will be known as Pride/Softspikes. One reason for the deal was to combine the marketing expertise of Softspikes with the manufacturing expertise of Pride, said Kelly Elbin, vice president of communication.
``To be honest, we could've been better in manufacturing,'' he said. ``That's what Pride does very well.''
Pride/Softspikes owns one injection molding site with Trisport Ltd., a sister company of Softspikes, in Tamworth, England. It also contracts out molding to Exact Research Inc., which has three sites in Thailand, Mexico and Idaho Falls, Idaho. Faris McMullin, Exact chief executive officer, said a total of 150 million cleats are produced annually by Pride/Softspikes.
For the time being, McMullin said, the acquisition will not affect those molding operations, but ``the decision still has to be made.''
There will be no layoffs associated with the deal, Elbin said. ``It really was a seamless acquisition,'' he said.
The new company, based in Guilford, Maine, will employ about 600 at seven facilities in the United States and England. Pride/ Softspikes also will have an office in Gaithersburg, Md., where Softspikes had been based.
William Ellis, current president and CEO of Pride, will hold the same position with the new company.
Softspikes President Rick Oleksyk will be president of the Pride Golf Products Division.
Pride also will assume ownership of Sport Holdings Inc., which includes Softspikes and Trisport, a manufacturer of golf cleats and receptacles.
Elbin did not reveal last year's sales for Softspikes, but said the combined value of Softspikes, Trisport and Pride is ``closer to $100 million than $50 million.''
``It's rare in the golf industry to see two No. 1 product lines come together under one company,'' Ellis said in a news release.
Softspikes manufactures the Black Widow cleat, which was worn by last year's winners of the PGA Championship, the British Open, the U.S. Women's Open and the Weetabix Women's British Open.