Kohlberg Buying Bauer Hockey

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NIKE) has agreed to sell its Bauer Hockey subsidiary to Kohlberg & Co. and Canadian businessman W. Graeme Roustan for $200 million. Bauer makes branded ice hockey products like skates, sticks and helmets. Lazard advised Nike on the process.



NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its Bauer Hockey subsidiary to an investor group led by Kohlberg & Company and Canadian businessman W. Graeme Roustan for $200 million in cash. Nike expects the transaction to be completed before the end of its current fiscal year.


“We're pleased to have reached an agreement for Bauer 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,” said Nike, Inc. President and CEO Mark Parker. “Nike Bauer Hockey has been part of the Nike family for 12 years, and its team has done an incredible job. Selling this great hockey company 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.”


Bauer, hockey's leading manufacturer, has delivered innovative products for over 80 years. Founded in 1927, Bauer developed the first skate with the blade attached to the boot, forever changing the game of hockey. Since then, Bauer has continued to develop the most sought after products in the industry, including the widely successful Supreme and Vapor lines of equipment. Bauer is set to once again raise the bar in innovation when it introduces the Supreme One95 skate and 9500 helmet this spring.


“Throughout the entire sale process, we were committed to find the right partner to continue moving our business forward and we have definitely found that partner,” said Mark Duggan, CEO, Nike Bauer Hockey. “Our new partners have a genuine enthusiasm for the hockey industry and we are confident their commitment will only strengthen our No. 1 position in the marketplace.”


“Bauer is the most coveted hockey brand in the world, dating back to 1927, and is a big part of hockey's DNA,” said Roustan, who will serve as Chairman of Bauer Hockey. “It is a personal honor 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.”


Nike decided to divest Bauer, acquired in 1995, following a strategic review of the company's subsidiary businesses. As part of the company's long-term growth strategy, Nike is optimizing its portfolio of subsidiary brands, which contribute more than $2 billion in annual revenues, to ensure the company is investing in the greatest growth opportunities with the highest returns.


Under the terms of the deal, Bauer will continue to use the Nike Bauer Hockey trademark on existing products for a period of up to two years.


Lazard acted as financial advisor, and Tonkon Torp acted as legal advisor to Nike in the transaction. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison acted as legal advisor to Kohlberg and Mr. Roustan.


About Nike

About NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Cole Haan Holdings Incorporated, which designs, markets and distributes luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.nikebiz.com.


About Kohlberg & Company

Kohlberg & Company is a leading private equity firm with offices in Mt. Kisco, New York and Portola Valley, California. Since its inception in 1987, Kohlberg has completed more than 45 platform investments and more than 50 add-on acquisitions, with aggregate transaction value in excess of $7 billion. Kohlberg has invested over $2 billion across six private equity funds to date, including through its current $1.5 billion sixth fund, Kohlberg Investors VI.


About W. Graeme Roustan

W. Graeme Roustan is a native of Montreal, Quebec, Canada where he grew up playing hockey from the age of three. Through his wholly owned holding company ROUSTAN INC., Roustan places equity investments primarily in the arena and aviation industries. Roustan brings an extensive network of long-term relationships in the ice hockey industry and community, proven business acumen and significant financial resources to follow his vision of vertical integration of the arena marketplace worldwide. Roustan's extensive portfolios of arena businesses are managed as part of ROUSTANUNITED www.roustanunited.com. For more information, visit the website at www.roustan.com