Hadley Completes Successful Sale of GT Golf Holdings
January 12, 2023 - 2 min read
GT Golf Seeks Continued Growth Under New Ownership
GT Golf Holdings, Inc. (“GT Golf”) recently announced that the company was acquired by Kinzie Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm.
GT Golf joined Hadley’s group of “small companies that punch above their weight” in 2016. Hadley’s acquisition of GT Golf was instrumental to founder Craig Pollard’s plan to achieve a management succession and ownership transition.
Under the Hadley Ownership SystemTM, GT Golf completed a seamless leadership transition, allowing Craig to step away from the business and spend more time on his non-profit endeavors. Following the leadership transition, Hadley and GT Golf’s new management team invested in critical foundations to support future growth, including advanced information technology systems, new warehouse locations, expanding the team, and e-commerce capabilities. The results of these investments were dramatic – GT Golf delivered nearly 15% compounded annual growth over Hadley’s ownership period resulting in nearly tripling the company’s top and bottom lines.
CIBC Cleary Gull served as the exclusive financial advisor to GT Golf. The financial terms of the transaction were undisclosed.
Delivering for our companies
Brian Van De Veere, President of GT Golf, shared, “We can’t thank the Hadley team enough for the last 6 years. It’s definitely bittersweet as GT Golf could not have asked for a better partner to guide us on this journey.”
He continued “When Craig informed us that he was selling GT Golf to a private equity group, Google did not have great things to say about what would be embarking on with a private equity owner. It became evident very early on that “this isn’t so bad”, and that we needed a group like Hadley to sharpen our skills and, ultimately, to unleash our potential. Any small company in our situation should be thrilled for the opportunity to partner with Hadley.”
Paul Wormley, Managing Partner at Hadley and Chairman of GT Golf added, “GT Golf is an excellent example of how the Hadley Ownership System helps small companies solve complex problems. It was a great honor to help Craig achieve his transition goals and to support GT Golf’s management team in growing the company during Hadley’s ownership.”
Delivering for small company sellers
Craig Pollard, founder of GT Golf, commented, “Hadley did exactly what we discussed back in 2015: provide my team with an opportunity to be owners, contribute guidance and support on how to more than double the size of the company, and deliver me a second bite at the apple. I could not have imagined it would work out this well.”
“The partnership with Hadley was a great experience. I’m a little nostalgic as a company I started out of my garage in 1993 grew every year thanks to great people. I am very grateful for the lifelong friendships developed with employees, vendors, customers and now, the team at Hadley.”
About the Hadley Ownership System
The Hadley Ownership System was developed specifically to assist small companies achieve success in one of the most challenging periods in a small company’s lifecycle – a transition from a founder/owner to a new phase of leadership and ownership.
Once the Transition is a success, the Hadley Ownership System is focused on orienting small companies towards a Growth model that creates greater opportunities for all its stakeholders – employees, customers, vendors, partners and owners. Learn more about our partnership approach here.
About GT Golf
GT Golf is the largest and fastest growing distributor of consumable golf products including grips, tees, and accessories to golf courses, specialty retailers, and direct to consumers. GT Golf is a valued partner to its customers because it offers the widest breadth of products in the industry, shortest lead times, competitive pricing, and excellent customer service. The company is headquartered in Vista, California and maintains additional locations in South Carolina and Texas.
For more than two decades, Hadley has assisted small company owners in need of management succession, ownership transition and growth support. Hadley has acquired more than 25 small companies that represent an exclusive group of market leaders that “punch above their weight.” Learn more about our process here, or contact the Hadley team today.
Paul joined Scott and Clay to raise Hadley Capital Fund I. He grew up in a family business environment and has spent his entire career working with small and emerging companies.
He currently works with Equustock, GT Golf Supplies, Open Sky Media, Pneu-Con, and Storflex. Previously he was the chairman of the board of directors for i-deal Optics and Centare, both former Hadley companies.
Paul is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys fishing, hunting, riding motorbikes, Crossfit and an occasional craft beer. He works closely with a number of non-profit organizations including One Acre Fund and Trout & Salmon Foundation.
Paul is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder and received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He and his wife, Rosemary, have three children.