(Refiling to correct spelling of word 'golf' in 3rd paragraph)
By Jessica DiNapoli
Oct 17 Dick's Sporting Goods Inc is
preparing a bid for the U.S. business of bankrupt Golfsmith
International Holdings Inc, challenging an offer by
rival retailer Worldwide Golf Shops, people familiar with the
matter said on Monday.
While bids for Golfsmith, owned by OMERS Private Equity Inc,
the buyout arm of one of Canada's largest pension funds, were
due earlier on Monday, Dick's was given an extension until
Tuesday morning to submit its offer, the people said.
The bankruptcy auction will the test the value of Golfsmith,
which suffered because of competition from discount retailers
Wal Mart Stores Inc and Amazon.com Inc, as well
as golf's waning popularity among younger customers. Interest in
golf has dropped in line with the fading career of star golfer
Tiger Woods, who once attracted many young fans to the sport.
Privately-held Worldwide Golf Shops was preparing to submit
a bid for Golfsmith on Monday, in partnership with liquidators
from Great American Group LLC, one of the people said.
The sources asked not to be identified because the bids were
not public. Golfsmith filed for bankruptcy in the United States
and Canada last month.
Spokespeople for Dick's, Golfsmith, Worldwide Golf and Great
American's parent company, investment bank B. Riley Financial
Inc, did not immediately return requests for comment.
A winner will be selected after an auction scheduled for
Wednesday. The goal is to close a sale, which a U.S. bankruptcy
court judge must approve, before the start of the holiday
Golfsmith may also reorganize its debt and emerge from
bankruptcy with the support of its existing lenders.
As part of its bid, Worldwide Golf would keep open a number
of Golfsmith's existing U.S. stores, the person said. While
Golfsmith operated 109 U.S. stores at the time of its bankruptcy
filing last month, and has been closing stores since then,
Worldwide Golf has 85 stores operating under names including
Roger Dunn Golf Shops and Golfers' Warehouse in 19 states.
Dick's operates its own specialty golf shops, Golf Galaxy,
and it's unclear what Dick's plans are for Golfsmith. Earlier
this year, Dick's won the auction for the intellectual property
of bankrupt competitor Sports Authority Inc with a bid of $15
Golfsmith last month announced a deal to sell its Canadian
shops, operating under the name Golf Town, to a group led by
Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.and CI Investments Inc.
(Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)