SHENZHEN and HONG KONG, January 14, 2020 | Five-Star Sports, a leading nationwide youth basketball academy program in China, and PacificPine Sports, the exclusive licensed operator of the PGA Youth Development Academy in China, have announced the completion of a merger and the closing of a US$8 million financing round led by PacificPine Group. The new combined company has been renamed PacificPine Sports Group. The financing included a US$6m series A preferred investment and a US$2m secondary common share purchase.
The basketball business will continue to operate under the Five-Star Sports brand and the golf business will continue to operate under the PGA Youth Development brand. The merged business will have operations in 10 cities across China with over 5,700 students and will be headquartered in Shenzhen.
Frank Au, Managing Partner of PacificPine Group, has been appointed Executive Chairman of PacificPine Sports Group. “I believe there is an incredible opportunity in China’s burgeoning youth sports education market, as it corresponds directly to the rapid rise of the Chinese middle class,” Au said. “Parents and children are increasingly seeing the benefits of learning a sport and developing a healthy and active lifestyle. The combination of Five-Star Sports and PGA Youth Development creates an unique asset with a scale that can capture the rapidly developing youth sports education market in China.”
Joel Haines, founder & CEO of Five-Star Sports, comments “the series A investment enables us to add facilities, coaches and technology infrastructure required to grow in our existing markets and to expand into additional cities across China,” Haines went on to say, “in addition, this investment will enable us to broaden our programs, specifically our summer and overseas camp offerings.”
Patrick Quernemoen, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of PacificPine Sports, added: “I see an incredible opportunity to build a nationwide multi-sport youth academy business in China and to provide students a chance to experience and learn from the best in the game. We want to help our students develop a love of sports and give them an opportunity to compete at a high level. By combining our basketball and golf businesses, we will have the scale to invest in operational and technology infrastructure to deliver a superior product offering to our students and parents.”
About Five-Star Sports
Five-Star Sports is a leading youth basketball academy business in China with operations in nine cities including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Dongguan, Foshan, Hefei and Hong Kong. Five-Star Sports has over 4,000 students nationwide and employs over 60 coaches. Five-Star Sports was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Shenzhen.
About PacificPine Sports
PacificPine Sports, the exclusive licensed operator of PGA Youth Development academies in China, has operations in six cities in China including Dongguan, Shenzhen, Haikou, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. PGA Youth Development has over 1,700 students and employs over 30 coaches. PacificPine Sports was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Shenzhen.
About PacificPine Group
PacificPine Group is an investment firm focused on investing in leading growth stage businesses in the technology, consumer and healthcare sectors in China. Founded in 2016, PacificPine Group is headquartered in Hong Kong.
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