GPS Industries Inc., the world’s leading provider of WiFi-enabled golf management systems and targeted ‘direct to the golfer’ media, has announced the signing of a binding agreement to acquire the business and assets of UpLink Corporation. The acquisition includes the North American customer base of over 200 golf courses and key intellectual property, trademarks and patents. Both parties have agreed to immediately operate the business as a ‘merged’ entity, under the corporate identity and branding of GPS Industries, Inc., with closing expected to occur by 31st October.
Highlights of the Acquisition
The shareholders of Uplink Corporation have approved a package of cash, the assumption of certain debt, and the issuance of restricted common shares in GPS Industries (GPSN) valued at 12 cents per share.
• Key UpLink executives Glen Pierce (CEO) and Mac McHugh (President) will join GPS Industries management team as Executive Vice President and Vice President of Operations.
• Doubles the size and market coverage of GPS Industries sales force.
• Provides UpLink customers with access to new revenue programs such as the industry leading Fire at the Flag hole in one program.
• Consolidation of the golf industry’s leading management technologies and intellectual properties into one cohesive portfolio.
• Brings GPS Industries’ installed base of Golf Management Systems to over 300 leading golf courses worldwide.
• Expands the narrowcast media network that provides advertisers with “direct to the golfer” access to a targeted audience of more than nine million golfers annually.
• Enhances GPSI’s extensive patent portfolio, adding patents for position-based advertising and onscreen display options on golf courses to long-held GPS and DGPS patent holdings.
• The addition of Uplink’s patented “IQ Link” cart control application furthers the competitive advantages of GPSI’s Inforemer Golf Management System.
Since 1998, UpLink Corporation has developed and marketed GPS golf management solutions. UpLink has been the exclusive GPS partner to Club Car. In 2003, UpLink introduced, and owns the exclusive patent rights to, IQLink, the first integrated satellite car control and monitoring application.
“IQLink is certainly a compelling feature of UpLink’s technology,” said GPSI President and CEO, Bob Silzer. “Course operators place tremendous value on the ability to control access to potentially dangerous or environmentally sensitive areas of their property. It has been a key differentiator of the UpLink product and adding this to our technology portfolio will only further the advantage our Inforemer Management System has over others in the market.”
UpLink also owns the patents for position-based advertising and onscreen display options to players on golf courses. This valuable intellectual property strongly contributed to GPS Industries decision to acquire the Austin, Texas based firm. Earlier this year GPS Industries launched an in-house media sales division to develop the advertising potential of the Inforemer cart-mount display panels.
“Our 10.4-inch LCD screens are the very best in the industry and represent a natural narrowcast network,” adds Silzer. “We recently launched our InforeMedia division to capitalize on this recurring revenue opportunity and we expect UpLink’s advertising patents will enhance our ability to assert dominance in this aspect of our business. Obviously, with the acquisition of UpLink’s 210 golf courses we have greatly expanded the size of the audience we can deliver to national advertisers, which grows that revenue opportunity exponentially.”
Existing customers of both firms will enjoy enhanced 24/7 support as a result of merged international service teams. “Customer service has been a hallmark of both companies” said UpLink CEO Glenn Pierce. “In fact it’s one of the shared values that make this a truly synergistic merger. The trust and confidence of our customers is central to the success we have both enjoyed and will be a key factor in continuing the gains we have both achieved.”
GPSI’s Silzer amplified that statement, “Certainly the quality of our service and support sets us apart in the industry. That is only going to strengthen as we move forward. We also now possess broader, deeper sales coverage in all key markets so our visibility and penetration on every level will be heightened.”
“Both companies also have strong relationships with key industry organizations,” continued Silzer, “including the National Golf Course Owners Association and the PGA of America. Leading management companies like Troon, Kemper Sports, Disney, Billy Casper Golf and Marriott have chosen our solutions. Our high-standard of service and financial stability have been important factors in their decisions.”
Legendary golfer and global entrepreneur Greg Norman enthusiastically supports the acquisition: “As a GPS Industries Investor/Advisor, I am very pleased with the pending acquisition. I believe this will further enhance the ability of course operators to maximize profits and help grow the game around the world.”
GPS Industries www.gpsindustries.com