Daily News: August 30, 2012

GE Capital Agents $150MM for Combination of Golf Town, Golfsmith

GE Capital announced it is serving as administrative agent on a $150 million senior secured credit facility to support the combination of Golf Town and Golfsmith. The combined business operates under the name Golfsmith International and creates one of the world’s largest golf specialty retailers. The credit facility will be used to support working capital and to refinance existing debt. GE Capital Markets served as lead arranger and bookrunner on the transaction.

Golf Town, an OMERS Private Equity portfolio company, was founded in 1999 in Ontario, Canada and operates stores across Canada and the greater Boston area. Golfsmith, founded in 1967 and headquartered in Austin, TX, began as a golf catalog business and now includes retail locations across the U.S. along with a significant online platform. The newly formed Golfsmith International will operate a combined 151 retail locations across the U.S. and Canada, as well as an e-commerce site.

“GE Capital structured the financing that will enable us to make this combination and our ongoing operations a success,” said Sue Gove, president and chief operating officer of Golfsmith International. “Golfsmith International and OMERS Private Equity have both worked with GE Capital for years, and we are confident that we will benefit from their industry knowledge and understanding of our business goals.”

“The industry continues to be selective with mergers and acquisitions, but smart retailers are finding there are good opportunities available to accelerate growth,” said Jim Hogan, senior managing director of GE Capital, Corporate Retail Finance. “Bringing together our retail finance expertise with the sponsor finance experts at GE Antares meant we were able to quickly understand the needs on all sides of this transaction and structure financing accordingly.”