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Exeter sports firm Bauer will acquire rival company's baseball, softball business

Staff report
February 13. 2014 9:52PM

EXETER — The sports equipment company Bauer has reached an agreement with rival equipment manufacturer Easton-Bell Sports to acquire the latter company's baseball and softball business for $330 million, Bauer said Thursday in a release.

The transaction is expected to close in about 30 to 60 days, subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions, the release said.

Kevin Davis, president and CEO of Exeter-based Bauer Performance Sports, said in a statement that the acquisition is "a perfect fit for our overall platform."

Bauer will own the Easton brand and the baseball and softball businesses, while Easton-Bell will keep its hockey and cycling businesses, the release said.

In recent years, acquisitions have been a big part of Bauer's growth. Over the past few years, it has acquired several other companies, including top brands in lacrosse and diamond sports.

In an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader last year, Davis said acquisitions will continue to be a big part of the company's growth strategy.

Davis became the fourth chief executive officer in eight years when he took the position in 2008, just after Nike sold the brand and at a time when morale and staff levels were low.

Since then, Bauer Performance Sports has gone from a private business to a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It has doubled growth and tripled profitability.

Last year, it expected to generate close to $400 million in revenue, up from about $200 million in 2008, and is ranked number one in every hockey equipment category.

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