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TaylorMade buys Maxfli brand

TaylorMade-adidas Golf, a division of the adidas-Salomon Group, announced today that it exercised its option to acquire the Maxfli brand of golf balls and accessories. With this acquisition, TaylorMade-adidas Golf strengthens its position as a fully-integrated golf company, offering products with leading positions in all major golf categories. The agreement took effect on December 31, 2002. adidas-Salomon and Dunlop Slazenger Group Limited have agreed to keep the financial terms confidential.

Since the start of the licensing and distribution agreement at the beginning of 2002, TaylorMade-adidas Golf market share in golf balls has grown to 7.5% according to Golf Datatech. Prior to the inclusion of Maxfli, TaylorMade-adidas Golf's market share in the golf ball segment was less than 1%. Golf ball sales currently represent about 16% of the global $7.5 billion golf market.

"By acquiring Maxfli, we have fortified our already powerful product line with a prestigious brand of golf balls that carries a deep history of technological development, as well as a decades-old tradition of winning at the professional level," said TaylorMade-adidas Golf Chairman Jim Stutts. "Maxfli's reputation for premium-quality, premium-priced golf balls makes the brand a natural complement to both TaylorMade brand golf clubs and adidas Golf apparel and footwear."

During 2002 TaylorMade-adidas Golf solidified the partnership and has already realized significant synergies. "By combining TaylorMade's resources with Maxfli's, we've been able to lower production costs," said Stutts. "In addition, we've strengthened our research and development department and our sales force by merging Maxfli's with TaylorMade's. And we've added quality Maxfli personnel to our executive staff and marketing department."

TaylorMade-adidas Golf expects that these and other synergies between the three brands-TaylorMade, adidas Golf and Maxfli-will have a positive impact on operating margins in 2003 and beyond.

"The passion Maxfli has demonstrated for innovation and performance technology makes it an excellent fit for both TaylorMade-adidas Golf and adidas-Salomon," said adidas-Salomon CEO Herbert Hainer.

The acquisition will not affect adidas-Salomon's previously announced debt reduction targets for 2002 and 2003.

In 2002, Maxfli launched its new Performance Series: three balls-M3 Tour (red), M3 Tour LT (black) and A3 (red)-engineered to deliver exceptional performance on every type of shot. Already, Performance Series balls have been used to win four tournaments and set seven course records. The Performance Series also continues Maxfli's time-honored trademark, the Maxfli roundel, which first appeared at least as early as 1955 on the "Red" Maxfli, and on several subsequent models including the Blue Max.

"Combining Maxfli's experience at creating high-performance golf balls with TaylorMade-adidas Golf's own deep resources will, without a doubt, generate exceptional products," said TaylorMade-adidas Golf CEO Mark King. "We're already seeing the benefits of this union in the outstanding results tour pros are attaining with the Performance Series."


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