Deal Gives Irwin Company Financial Clout

Article excerpt

Hale Irwin apparently has solved a complicated business and golf equation that could enable him to have the best of both worlds.

The three-time U.S. Open champion and 26-year veteran of the PGA Tour had been seeking to simplify his business life and at the same time broaden his golf-course design base and stay competitive on the tour.

Brassie Golf Corp. of Canada gave him that opportunity.

Brassie, seeking to enhance its presence in the U.S. market, recently acquired Irwin's St. Louis-based golf-course design and management company in a share exchange.

This is legalese for what basically is a merger, said Pat Fister, senior vice president of development and marketing of Hale Irwin Golf Services Inc., which under the new arrangement becomes a subsidiary of Brassie Golf Corp.

Briefly, the primary components of the transaction:

Brassie, which has its principal office in Southport, N.C., exchanged 1,250,000 shares of its common stock for all issued and outstanding stock of Hale Irwin Golf Services Inc., which was founded in 1986 by Irwin and his brother-in-law, Richard Stahlhuth.

Irwin and Stahlhuth, CEO of Irwin Golf Services, each received 625,000 shares of Brassie stock and they were nominated to its board of directors.

The merger opens numerous options for each company. Brassie has the ability to raise significant capital, Fister said. Irwin Golf has the experience and expertise to manage that capital for investment. "There is a key synergy here in that both companies benefit enormously from the other's strengths," Fister said. "Irwin Golf adds depth to Brassie's ability to raise capital."

A publicly held corporation, Brassie's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Brassie was founded in 1988 by Gordon D. Ewert, a Canadian businessman, and P.B. Dye, like his father, Pete Dye, a noted golf-course architect. …