As part of its continuing effort to become the leading supplier of accessory products and value-added services to the golf industry, ForeFront Holdings, formerly Datrek Miller International, has purchased Burton Golf. The announcement was made by Mike Hedge, president and chief executive officer.
Burton Golf, based in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., manufactures and markets high quality golf bags and accessories and is a leading supplier of premium golf bags to the “on course” distribution channel which services golf pro shops throughout North America and internationally. In 2005, Burton had over $10 million in annual sales.
The acquisition of Burton Golf is part of ForeFront’s long-term strategy to be the leading supplier of all golf products and accessories, except hard goods equipment, to the golf industry. “Our objective is to build, buy, partner or license leading golf accessory brands as a product portfolio,” added Hedge. “We believe that there is a tremendous opportunity for a company to become the dominant supplier in the accessory category within the golf industry. With Burton, we now have another piece of the puzzle to service our customers as a one-stop-shop supplier,” said Hedge.
“This opportunity best positions the Burton brand for future growth,” said Don Ochsenreiter, Burton’s president. “Burton is extremely excited to be a part of ForeFront’s growth strategy and appreciate its willingness to support our current marketing and product development initiatives. In addition, Burton Golf is proud to go to market under the ForeFront umbrella with a collection of the best brands in the golf accessory market.”
ForeFront Holdings now owns the Burton, Datrek and Miller Golf brands. The company also has licensing and distribution agreements with the NCAA, NFL/Wilson Sporting Goods, PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, LPGA, Nationwide Tour, Suunto, Top of the World Headwear and Rob Akins Golf.
ForeFront views the addition of Burton as a complement to its existing Datrek collection of golf bags. “We now have the leading on-course and off-course golf bag companies working together,” said Hedge. “Stanford Financial Group, an affiliate of our largest shareholder and 2007 title sponsor of the Stanford St. Jude Championship on the PGA TOUR, gives us a tremendous advantage in the marketplace. Their financial support has allowed us to build our sales organization and operational infrastructure while aggressively pursuing acquisition opportunities like Burton. With their backing, we expect to continue to be a proactive acquirer in the market.”