Old Mutual Private Equity buys stake in leisure and sports retailer

24 Feb 2016

Old Mutual Private Equity (OMPE), a division within Old Mutual Alternative Investments, has bought a 70% stake in MoreCorp, best known as the owner of The Pro Shop, World of Golf, Playmoregolf and Cycle Lab. Additional shareholders include MoreCorp co-founder Darryl Egdes (20%) and management (10%).

MoreCorp’s main interests lie in golf and cycling, with Egdes describing the company as a sport, leisure and wellness business underpinned by technology.

In 1976, the founders of MoreCorp started The Pro Shop business, which they have built into the largest retail player in the golf sector, with its large format speciality golf stores selling all major golf brands. It has used its retail stores to support and build other golf-related businesses such as themed golf practice ranges and online golf booking platforms. More recently, it has transported this model to include cycling, which it identified as a fast-growing sport in the high LSM sector. In 2013, MoreCorp acquired Cycle Lab, South Africa’s largest cycling retail chain, which it has combined with other cycling-related businesses such as cycle parks, cycling clubs and cycling training programmes.

“The opportunity to buy MoreCorp arose when Darryl’s business partner, Rhys Hughes, who founded The Pro Shop 39 years ago, decided to sell his share in the company allowing us to also buy out the group’s other significant shareholders,” says OMPE Investment Principal Chumani Kula. “We saw MoreCorp as an entrepreneurial, cash generative business with a great management team, a strong market position in its niche and attractive growth prospects.”

“I’m very excited about the Old Mutual Private Equity partnership, not only for the capital injection which allows us to fast-track our expansion plans in cycling, but also for helping us to build the strategic, financial and governance capacity necessary for the growth we see ahead,” says MoreCorp Chief Executive Officer Darryl Egdes.

“We believe we can support MoreCorp’s deep retailing knowledge and exciting growth prospects with strategic input, active partnership, capital and financial expertise,” says OMPE Investment Principal Farhad Khan. “We expect the combination of these skills and the chemistry we have with management to ultimately result in scaling the business into a more formidable group in its space.”

MoreCorp will be Old Mutual Private Equity’s fifth investment in Fund IV, a R4-billion fund.

Old Mutual Alternative Investments is a boutique of Old Mutual Investment Group.

 

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