ITOCHU Signs Strategic Alliance with Hong Kong-Based Honma Golf Limited and Acquires Its Shares

January 29, 2018

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has signed a strategic alliance with Honma Golf Limited (headquartered in Hong Kong; Liu Jianguo, Chairman and CEO; hereinafter “Honma”), a golf equipment manufacturer listed in Hong Kong, and has entered into an agreement regarding the acquisition of Honma’s shares.
The total acquisition price amounts to 321,968,440 Hong Kong dollars (approximately 4.5 billion yen), representing an ownership stake of 6.29%.

Honma, which was founded in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1958, commenced the production and sales of golf clubs in 1963.
The company has since continued to provide high quality golf clubs to address golfers’ needs using a variety of development methods, and its products are well accepted by users including many well-known professional golfers.

ITOCHU sees the acceleration of initiatives in China and Asia as a key strategy in its textile business and is seeking collaboration with strong partners in a number of areas, including sports-related businesses.
In this region, consumer spending is expanding, backed by a rise in purchasing power among the middle income group, while the number of globally active professional golfers from the region has recently been on the rise.
As such, the golf market is expected to expand in this region, going forward. ITOCHU believes that the direction of Honma matches its own efforts to raise the company’s profile as a general golf brand by strengthening its apparel business in the golf market, and made the decision to proceed with a strategic alliance and share acquisition.

Through the strategic alliance, ITOCHU, while fully utilizing the rich expertise and networks that it has developed in the textile business to date, will work to strengthen businesses related to Honma-branded apparel and will support Honma in its efforts to promote the value and recognition of the Honma brand as a general golf brand.
Initially, ITOCHU will start to tap into the market in Japan and expand into the Asian region in the future.
Through these efforts to accelerate its collaboration with Honma, ITOCHU will continue to contribute to further enhancing Honma’s corporate value and expanding the company’s business.