Industry Scoop: Maverik Lacrosse Goes Public

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Eight months ago Maverik Lacrosse, a lacrosse equipment manufacturer and lifestyle brand, was acquired by Kohlberg Sports Group. KSG is the private equity firm that purchased Bauer Hockey from Nike for $200 million in 2008. Since acquiring Maverik, KSG has brought the Bauer, Mission Roller Hockey and Maverik brands together under the one entity, Bauer Performance Sports Ltd.

Yesterday afternoon, news broke that Kohlberg will be taking Bauer Performance Sports Ltd. public. Documents have been filed with Canadian regulators, and they are aiming to raise $75 million (Canadian/US Dollar 1:1 ratio).

From Bloomberg Businessweek:

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) — Kohlberg & Co. LLC, the private- equity firm founded by Jerome Kohlberg, plans to take its Bauer Hockey business public three years after buying the sports- equipment maker from Nike Inc.

Bauer Performance Sports Ltd. filed documents with Canadian regulators to sell shares in an initial public offering, the company said today in a statement. Bauer plans to raise about C$75 million ($75 million), according to two people familiar with the deal, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.

Bauer makes and markets equipment and clothing under the brands Bauer Hockey, Mission Roller Hockey and Maverik Lacrosse. Bauer Hockey was founded in Kitchener, Ontario in 1927.

An investor group led by Kohlberg and Canadian businessman W. Graeme Roustan agreed to buy Bauer Hockey from Nike in February 2008 for $200 million. Nike, the world’s largest maker of athletic shoes, gained Bauer in 1995 when it bought Canstar Sports Inc. for $395 million.

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While Maverik continues to make headway in the lacrosse industry, Bauer Hockey is said to own 45% market share in the hockey equipment market. Considering the success of Bauer, one would think that Maverik is set with a great model to follow. The offering is expected to launch next month.

The business reporters out there who know a lot more about initial public offerings than I do say that the market for IPO’s is coming to life again in North America. Companies are finally strapping it up and pushing towards growth again. This Bauer offering is a perfect example.

According to Reuters, private equity is expected to be particularly active in the region this year as funds exit investments made four and five years ago.

Maverik Lacrosse Website
Maverik relaunched their website in Nov. 2010

Other links of interest:

– Hockey gear maker Bauer to launch IPO | TheStar.com

– Bauer set to go public, part ways with Kohlberg | Financial Post

– Canadian hockey equipment icon Bauer to go public | Reuters

– Bauer Performance Sports Ltd. Files Preliminary Prospectus For Initial Public Offering | newswire.ca

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Founder of Lacrosse All Stars. A West Coast native and product of the MCLA, I moved back East after college where I truly fell in love with the game. I've dedicated my career to LaxAllStars since 2010, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I now live in my hometown of Boise, Idaho, with my wife Zoë, two dogs, and a baby girl expected to arrive around Championship Weekend this May. I'm a technologist at heart, I'm not into snow or the month of January, and one time I kind of stole a football from Gary Gait. Life is crazy busy, but it's worth it when you get to immerse yourself in the medicine of lacrosse every day. We are on a mission to Grow The Game® on a global scale by empowering storytelling by players, for players, and bridging the gap between lacrosse and the mainstream.

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  1. No. Maverik was bought by KSG last year. Bauer Hockey Equipment was owned by Nike before KSG bought them in 2008. When KSG bought Maverik they basically merged it with Bauer and that roller hockey company because they felt all 3 shared certain business aspects (1 for example: making and marketing protective gear) and could capitalize on shared learning and business processes. Probably called it Bauer Performance Sports because its sexier than KSG and Bauer has much higher brand recognition to consumers, making it easier to market and offer an IPO.