The competition for bankrupt retailer Golfsmith has just gotten more interesting, with Dick’s Sporting Goods reportedly prepping a bid for an auction to be held October 19. Bids were originally due on Oct. 17, but Dick’s was given an extension so that it could participate, according to Reuters. Golfsmith filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and Canada on September 14; its assets currently are owned by OMERS Private Equity, the buyout arm of one of Canada’s largest pension funds.
Quoting sources who asked not to be identified because the bids were not yet public, Reuters noted that privately held Worldwide Golf Shops also was preparing to submit a bid for Golfsmith, in partnership with liquidators from Great American Group LLC. The goal is to close a sale, which must be approved by a U.S. bankruptcy court judge, before the holiday shopping season gets under way. It’s also possible that Golfsmith could reorganize its debt and emerge from bankruptcy, with the cooperation of its lenders.
Golfsmith’s Chapter 11 filing was just the latest episode in what has been a horrific year for the sporting goods vertical. The March 2016 bankruptcy filing by Sports Authority eventually led to the retailer’s liquidation and the closing of its 450+ stores. Dick’s scooped up Sports Authority’s web site and customer data for $15 million. Sport Chalet also shuttered all of its 47 stores in April, and earlier in October, Bass Pro Shops made a $5.5 billion offer for rival Cabela’s.
Dick’s already operates its own golf specialty chain, Golf Galaxy, so it’s unclear how many Golfsmith stores might stay open if the bid is successful. Golfsmith operated 109 U.S. stores and 55 Golf Town stores in Canada at the time of the bankruptcy filing, but has been closing locations since then. Worldwide Golf operates 85 stores in 19 states under names including Roger Dunn Golf Shops and Golfers’ Warehouse.