Amer Sports Corporation
STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE
March 23, 2015 at 4.00 p.m.
Amer Sports strengthens its Ball Sports business through acquisition of the iconic, market-leading baseball brand Louisville Slugger
To accelerate its Ball Sports business, Amer Sports Corporation has acquired global brand, sales and innovation rights to a leading American baseball brand, Louisville Slugger from Hillerich & Bradsby Co. (H&B). Louisville Slugger, one of the most well-known brands in baseball globally, reported annual sales of USD 75 million in 2014. The acquisition price is USD 70 million in an all-cash transaction. The agreement is subject to H&B shareholder approval and the customary closing conditions. The closing of the acquisition is expected in the second quarter of 2015.
Founded in 1884, Louisville Slugger is an iconic American baseball brand, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball and the market leading wood bat. Louisville Slugger designs and markets wood and non-wood bats, gloves, bags and protectives.
The acquisition is a logical step in Amer Sports strategy to re-ignite growth in Ball Sports. Baseball is one of Ball Sports’ chosen strategic growth areas, which already includes two leading brands, Wilson and DeMarini. The acquisition enhances Ball Sports’ product portfolio and provides Amer Sports with a strong position and meaningful growth opportunities in the baseball and softball category. The acquisition impact is expected to be neutral to Amer Sports EBIT margin excluding non-recurring items in 2015 and accretive as of 2016.
“The acquisition of Louisville Slugger contributes to our objective to accelerate profitable growth in our Ball Sports unit”, says Amer Sports President and CEO Heikki Takala. “The acquisition improves and strengthens our baseball and softball portfolio with wood bats and patented innovations in non-wood bats, as well as fielding gloves, bags, protectives and accessories. We will realize important operational scale and synergy benefits as well as opportunities to further leverage the Louisville Slugger brand. We are proud to become the home for another iconic consumer brand, and we look forward to building it toward an even greater future.”
The global baseball and softball market is approximately USD 2.2 billion, of which USD 1.4 billion is in the US. Baseball and softball have approximately 20 million active players in the US. The sports are played in over 100 countries globally, including Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Australia and throughout North, Central and South America.
Wilson manufactures and sells high performance gloves, bats, uniforms, apparel, protective gear, accessories, and player development equipment and training tools through its Wilson, DeMarini and ATEC brands. Wilson will market and sell Louisville Slugger as a stand-alone brand, like its DeMarini brand. Under the terms of the agreement, H&B will manufacture all Louisville Slugger-branded MLB, Minor League Baseball, amateur player and souvenir wood bats for Wilson. H&B will continue to manufacture wood bats at the Company’s downtown Louisville factory.
Amer Sports will hold an English-language conference call for investors, analysts and media today at 2:45 p.m. GMT/ 4:45 p.m. EET. To participate, please call + 44 (0) 20 3427 1909 (UK/international dial-in number), +1 718 354 1152 (US), or +358 (0)9 6937 9590 (Finland), confirmation code 6062716. QR code attached.
Webcast link: http://edge.media-server.com/m/p/ue6djjdy.
The conference can also be followed live via www.amersports.com. A replay of the conference call and a transcript will be available later at the same internet address. The replay number is +44(0)20 3427 0598 (UK/international dial-in number), +1 347 366 9565 (US) or +358 (0)9 2310 1650 (Finland), passcode 6062716#.
A media kit with additional information on Wilson baseball/softball and Louisville Slugger brands, as well as images and logos, is available at www.sluggerpress.com.
For further information, please contact:
Päivi Antola, Director, Corporate Communications and IR, tel. +358 20 7122 537
Amer Sports (www.amersports.com) is a sporting goods company with internationally recognized brands including Salomon, Wilson, Atomic, Arc’teryx, Mavic, Suunto and Precor. The company’s technically advanced sports equipment, footwear and apparel improve performance and increase the enjoyment of sports and outdoor activities. The Group’s business is balanced by its broad portfolio of sports and products and a presence in all major markets. Amer Sports shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange (AMEAS).