Fila Korea aims to become global sportswear and golf equipment maker

By Park Sae-jin Posted : December 14, 2016, 11:12 Updated : December 14, 2016, 11:12

[Courtesy of Titleist]

Fila Korea, an international sportswear maker, has been considered a success case in South Korea's fashion industry since it acquired its parent company in Italy in 2007.

Far from being complacent, chairman Yoon Yoon-soo hopes to nurture his company as a global sports group through the combination of Fila's traditional sportswear business and leading golf brands -- Titleist and FootJoy.

"I will do my best to cultivate Fila as a global sports group and brand from 2017, Yoo said Tuesday after the company secured full control over Acushnet Holdings Corp, which owns Titleist, the world's largest manufacturer of golf balls and equipment, and FootJoy, a maker of shoes, gloves, and functional clothing.

Yoon's aggressive new strategy includes an expanded production base in China, OEM (original equipment manufacturing), and strengthened global marketing.  

Fila Korea has upped its stake in Acushnet to 53.1 percent since the US company went public on New York Stock Exchange in October. The increase has been anticipated since Yoon successfully issued three-year shogun bonds worth $65 million last year. A shogun bond is a foreign-currency denominated bond issued in Japan by foreign entities.

In 2007, Fila Korea acquired its parent company. Four years later, Yoon joined a consortium led by South Korea's leading asset manager, Mirae Asset Financial Group, to buy a 33.1 percent stake in Acushnet.

At that time, domestic golf fans hailed the deal because Titleist is the most popular golf equipment brand in the world. Golf has gained popularity in South Korea, a major market for golf equipment and clothes, but home-grown brands are not competitive.

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