Sky News has learnt that Endless has struck a deal to take control of American Golf through a pre-pack administration.
The transaction, which will safeguard about 900 jobs, is expected to be announced to staff later on Friday.
Endless’s swoop will add American Golf to a portfolio of investments which includes The Works, the retailer which recently listed on the London stock market, jeweller Theo Fennell and Menzies Distribution.
The deal will come a fortnight after Sky News revealed that Sun European Partners was trying to find a buyer for American Golf, which it has owned since 2012.
Sports Direct and JD Sports Fashion were among the parties which expressed an interest in buying the chain, which sells big-name brands including Callaway, TaylorMade, Titleist and Wilson.
Sources said that Endless had agreed to pay less than £10m for the business, including 112 of its 132 stores across the UK and Ireland.
American Golf’s advisers at Deloitte had told potential buyers that its performance has been hit by weather-related problems both during the extended cold snap earlier this year and then the warmer-than-usual summer.
A restructuring of the business in 2015 was necessary, the company said at the time, to “maintain the confidence of its supplier, credit insurers and other key stakeholders”.
Sun’s acquisition of the business seven years ago from LDC, the investment firm owned by Lloyds Banking Group, came during a period of growing golf participation in the UK.
However, in accounts for the period ended 22 January 2017, American Golf Discount Centre Limited said that UK participation in the sport “decreased? around 8.9% in 2016, following several successive years of decline”.
Accounts for the year to January 2018 have yet to be filed at Companies House.
The sale comes at a time of continued angst for much of the UK retail sector, with an unprecedented slew of prominent high street names in the process of closing substantial numbers of stores or resorting to calling in administrators.
Another troubled retailer, Evans Cycles, is seeking a final round of takeover bids on Friday as it draws interest from bidders including Mr Ashley, JD Sports and Halfords, the UK’s biggest bikes chain.
Earlier this week, fashion chain Coast was sold through another pre-pack insolvency process, while Maplin, Poundworld and Toys R Us UK have all crashed into administration this year.