OMERS-owned retailer exploring alternatives amid reports of troubles

A U.S.-based golf retailer owned by the private equity arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System is “exploring strategic initiatives” amid reports the company is considering filing for bankruptcy.

“Golfsmith currently has the necessary liquidity to pay the company’s financial obligations as they become due,” a spokesperson for Golfsmith International Inc. told Benefits Canada this morning.

“The company’s management team is focused on strengthening the company and its business operations to maintain and expand its position as a leading golf retailer and has engaged financial advisors to explore potential strategic initiatives.”

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The comments follow a report by Bloomberg that the retailer of golf clothing and equipment is considering filing for bankruptcy as it looks for a new owner.

OMERS acquired Golfsmith as part of a 2012 merger with another golf retailer it owns, Canada-based Golf Town. The pension fund acquired Golf Town Income Fund in 2007 for about $240 million. In 2012, OMERS announced Golf Town would be acquiring Golfsmith for a price representing a premium of about 32 per cent on the value of the shares. At the time, the company said the headquarters for the combined business would be in Austin, Texas.

The Golfsmith spokesperson confirmed the company’s strategic efforts also apply to its Golf Town operations in Canada.