Daily News: April 18, 2014

BofA, JPMorgan, Others Provide ABL to Support Bauer Acquisition

Bauer Performance Sports, a designer and manufacturer of high performance sports equipment and apparel, has completed the acquisition of the Easton Baseball/Softball business from Easton-Bell Sports.

BPS financed the acquisition, as well as refinanced certain existing indebtedness, with a US $200 million asset-backed revolving credit facility and the issuance of US $450 million in senior secured loans. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Canada and Morgan Stanley have provided BPS with fully committed credit facilities sufficient to close the transaction.

Under the terms of the asset purchase agreement, BPS acquired Easton Baseball/Softball for a total all-cash consideration valued at $330 million, plus a working capital adjustment and fees. BPS expects the acquisition to be accretive to Adjusted Earnings per Share in the first year of ownership.

“This is the largest and most transformational acquisition in our history because it positions BPS as the No. 1 global leader in ice hockey, roller hockey, baseball and softball,” said Kevin Davis, president and CEO of BPS. “Both companies have a passion to elevate player performance and deliver innovation across every category, and together we will be able to share technologies, leverage our platform and continue growing the Easton brand around the world.”

On a pro forma basis, the combined companies generated approximately $593 million in annualized sales and US $95 million in Adjusted EBITDA (based on the trailing 12-months at December 31, 2013 for Easton Baseball/Softball and February 28, 2014 for BPS). This does not take into account the anticipated operational synergies and efficiencies of the integrated businesses.

While BPS now owns the EASTON brand and the Easton Baseball/Softball business, Easton-Bell Sports retains Easton Hockey and Easton Cycling. BPS has entered into a license agreement that allows Easton-Bell Sports to continue to use the EASTON name in these two sports segments. No other businesses from the Easton-Bell Sports portfolio were included in the acquisition.

BPS will continue to operate the Easton Baseball/Softball business out of its existing Van Nuys, Calif. and Salt Lake City, Utah locations. Easton Baseball/Softball’s key leadership team has joined BPS with the exception of its president, who is assisting with the transition, and will leave afterwards to pursue other interests. Cliff Hall will serve as the Executive Vice President of Easton Baseball/Softball.

“The team at Easton Baseball and Softball has built a winning record since the launch of its first aluminum bat in 1972,” said Hall. “The acquisition by BPS will build on Easton Baseball and Softball’s tradition of developing game-changing technologies that has positioned it as the world’s leading and most recognized brand in diamond sports. We are excited about the opportunities ahead as we look to further invest across our product categories and grow our brand.”