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TaylorMade-adidas Golf to license and distribute Maxfli and Slazenger golf products

CARLSBAD, California – TaylorMade-adidas Golf, the golf business unit of adidas-Salomon AG, and Dunlop Slazenger Group Limited, the sporting goods manufacturer and owner of the Maxfli and Slazenger golf brands, announced an exclusive license and distribution agreement today.

Effective January 1st 2002, TaylorMade-adidas Golf will assume exclusive distribution and licensing rights for the Maxfli and Slazenger golf brands. Dunlop Slazenger, in turn, will purchase TaylorMade’s golf ball production facility and take over manufacturing and supply responsibilities for the Maxfli, Slazenger and TaylorMade balls. This agreement allows two leading golf companies to capitalize on their respective strengths in a consolidating golf market and gives both partners the potential for higher sales, shared marketing and retail relationships.

TaylorMade-adidas Golf strengthens its presence as a fully-integrated golf company, offering products with leading positions in all major golf categories. In particular, the company will grow its position in the critical golf ball category, which currently represents about 25% of the global $6 billion golf market. Through the integration of the Maxfli and Slazenger golf brands, TaylorMade-adidas Golf will control a US market share of 8%, making it a top-tier golf ball provider. Moreover, the sale of TaylorMade’s production facilities will allow the company to exit the manufacturing segment for golf balls and exploit cost savings by utilizing Dunlop Slazenger’s manufacturing economies of scale.

For Dunlop Slazenger, this agreement allows the group to focus on its core golf competencies: manufacturing as well as its renowned research and development. The deal provides the group with additional exposure through TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s global distribution capacity and promotional tour strength.

In addition to the license and distribution agreement, TaylorMade has been granted a 15-month option to purchase the Maxfli golf brand and to acquire a perpetual and exclusive license for the royalty-free sale and development of Slazenger golf products. This will allow both parties to evaluate the synergies of the cooperation before the option would be exercised.

“A deal of this scope between two leading players in the market is unprecedented in the golf industry. We are excited about the opportunity to work closely with Dunlop Slazenger. They share our passion and commitment to deliver products of true innovation and high quality to the marketplace,” said Jim Stutts, CEO of TaylorMade-adidas Golf. “This is another important milestone for us on our way to becoming the best performance golf brand in the world.”

“The partnership agreement with TaylorMade-adidas Golf represents a significant step in the group’s progress to reposition itself as a global market leader in the manufacturing and distribution of sporting goods,” said Dunlop Slazenger CEO Phil Parnell. “Maxfli and Slazenger are two premium golf brands which have found the right home at TaylorMade-adidas Golf.”