Nike sells Bauer Hockey for $200 million

2/21/2008 11:44:24 AM

MONTREAL - Nike Inc. has sold its Bauer Hockey subsidiary for US$200 million to an investor group led by Montreal businessman Graeme Roustan and U.S. private equity firm Kohlberg & Co.

The American athletic-goods giant, which acquired what it describes as hockey's leading manufacturer in 1995, said Thursday it is pleased to have struck a deal with "strategic buyers who have a passion for hockey and are committed to continue to invest in Bauer's long-term growth and brand leadership."

Roustan, through private holding company Roustan Inc., places equity investments primarily in the arena business and aviation industry.

Kohlberg & Co., with offices in New York and California, has invested US$2 billion across six private equity funds.

Bauer, in business since 1927, is said to have developed the first skate with the blade attached to the boot, and it claims a No. 1 position in the hockey market.


Nike did not release specifics Thursday on Bauer's sales and profitability, but CEO Mark Parker said "its team has done an incredible job."

The sale, after a strategic review of Nike's subsidiaries, "was a tough decision but one that was in the best interests of Nike and Bauer as we each look to maximize our respective growth opportunities," Parker stated.

"Bauer is the most coveted hockey brand in the world," said Roustan, who will be chairman of Bauer Hockey.

"It is a personal honour and privilege to have the opportunity to work with the existing dedicated team of professionals at Bauer and support this great company's continued industry leadership well into the future."

Bauer will continue to use the Nike Bauer trademark on existing products for up to two years.

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