Three-Way Merger Creates Market Leader With Systems Deployed on Nearly 1,000 Courses; Extensive Synergies Position New Company for Long-Term Success
Partners With Greg Norman
NEW YORK, October 16, 2009 – Falconhead Capital, LLC, a private equity firm specializing in consumer-focused businesses in the leisure, lifestyle, sport and media categories, today announced the formation of GPSI Holdings, LLC (“GPSI”), the world’s leading provider of cart-mounted GPS services to golf courses. GPSI was created through the acquisition of and subsequent three-way merger of GPS Industries, Inc., ProLink Systems, Inc., and a series of assets previously owned by David Chessler, who has been named CEO of GPSI. GPS Industries was acquired through a sale process conducted under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.
Falconhead has immediately established GPSI as the leading player in the golf cart-mounted GPS industry globally, with systems deployed on nearly 1,000 courses predominantly in North America and Europe. Falconhead expects that the acquisition of these businesses at very attractive valuations, and their combination, will result in significant cost, revenue and technological synergies that will position GPSI for significant profitable growth. In particular, GPSI will implement extensive product and service improvements that will benefit customers and enhance the playing experience for players around the world.
Falconhead’s partner in GPSI is Greg Norman, the professional golfer and head of Great White Shark Enterprises, a corporation primarily focused on golf. Mr. Norman, a long-time member of Falconhead’s advisory board, was involved in conceiving and executing the transactions. He will own a significant equity stake in GPSI and has entered into an agreement to promote the company’s business.
As part of GPSI’s long-term growth strategy, the Company has established an exclusive partnership with Club Car to leverage its sales force of more than 120 representatives and its extensive global distribution network. Club Car, a member of the Industrial Technologies sector of Ingersoll-Rand plc (NYSE: IR), is a leading manufacturer of golf cars, utility vehicles and a wide range of task-oriented vehicles serving multiple markets.
David S. Moross, chairman and chief executive officer of Falconhead Capital, said: “We are proud to create the leading provider of cart-mounted GPS services to golf courses. The transactions that led to the formation of GPSI Holdings further demonstrate our ability to pursue and complete complex investment opportunities, and the new company is highly complementary to our investment strategy given our long ties to golf, and our expertise in leisure and lifestyle. By bringing together these three businesses, we have created a new company with the financial strength, operational efficiency, technology expertise, business model and geographic reach necessary to succeed over the long term.
“We are fortunate that our friend Greg Norman is our partner in GPSI, given his immense stature in the golf world as a player and businessman. We look forward to working together to further build this powerful platform,” Mr. Moross concluded.
Mr. Norman said, “This transaction further promotes the consolidation of the industry which started with GPS Industries’ acquisition of UpLink in late 2008 and now includes the merger with ProLink and ProView. This consolidation, together with other strategies, several of which specifically capitalize on the current economic landscape, will position GPSI to realize its full potential. It has been a pleasure to work closely with David and the Falconhead team, and we look forward to a very successful venture.”
About Falconhead Capital
Falconhead Capital, LLC (www.falconheadcapital.com), with $500 million of assets under management, is a private equity firm established in 1998 to provide investors with significant long-term capital appreciation by investing globally in consumer-focused businesses in the sport, leisure, lifestyle, and media categories. In addition to GPSI Holdings, Falconhead Capital's current portfolio investments include Competitor Group, Inc., Escort, Inc., Extreme Fitness, Inc., Javo Beverage Company, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, Our365 (f/k/a Growing Family), and Premier, Inc. Past Falconhead portfolio investments include, among others, National Powersport Auctions, Maritime Telecommunications Network, The Golf Warehouse, and ESPN Classic Europe, LLC.
About Great White Shark Enterprises
Great White Shark Enterprises is a multi-national corporation headed by Greg Norman with offices in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Sydney, Australia. The company administrates a variety of businesses including Greg Norman Golf Course Design, Greg Norman Collection (apparel), Greg Norman Estates (wine), Greg Norman Production Company (event management), Medallist Developments and Southern Cross Developments (real estate development), and numerous other merchandising and licensing arrangements.
About GPSI Holdings LLC
Headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, GPSI Holdings develops, manufactures and sells new and refurbished cart-mounted GPS distance measurement devices along with the related infrastructure for use with golf course operations, and provides service required to properly maintain the units. Golf courses benefit from GPSI’s systems through increased customer satisfaction, improved course management, potential revenue generation and enhanced safety.