SBD/March 10, 2011/Finance

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  • Bauer Performance Sports Launches IPO On Toronto Stock Exchange

    About 90% of NHL players wear or use at least one piece of Bauer equipment

    Bauer Performance Sports, the "world's biggest hockey skate and equipment company," launched an initial public share offering this morning and started trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to Tony Van Alphen of the TORONTO STAR. Bauer owners Kohlberg & Co. and Roustan Capital offered "between 10 million to 11.5 million shares or about one-third of the company" for $7.50 each (all figures Canadian). That would place a value of about $225M on the company, "about $25 million more than when the owners bought it" from Nike in '08. The current owners "will still hold about two-thirds of Bauer's stock if the offering sells out." Industry observers said that Bauer is "in a better position to become an even bigger industry leader but they caution that the world's hockey market is only expanding in increments." Octagon Capital Head of Research & Consumer Products Analyst Bob Gibson and Stellick Marketing Communications Principal Bob Stellick said that "despite the brand's power, it's unclear how much Bauer's revenues and profits can grow." They added that it is "difficult to forecast whether the stock will attract significant interest from investors and other stock market players who might feel nostalgic or like the idea of owning a piece of Bauer." The company's "current lineup of promoters" includes Blackhawks C Jonathan Toews and RW Patrick Kane, Lightning C Steven Stamkos and Maple Leafs RW Phil Kessel. Bauer officials said that about 90% of NHL players "wear or use one piece of Bauer hockey equipment," and 69% "lace up Bauer skates." In the last two years, the company estimated that it "has made gains with NHL players in stick, helmet, visor, gloves and pants usage" (TORONTO STAR, 3/10).

    READY TO PERFORM: The GUARDIAN's Mark Sweney reports digital sports rights company Perform Group will "float on the London Stock Exchange with an offer that could value the business at more than" US$800M. Perform is "looking to make an initial public offering to float a minimum of 25% of the company to raise about" US$113M. The company said that the "proceeds will be used to 'accelerate' organic growth plans and make strategic acquisitions to build the business." Perform "has appointed Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley as joint sponsors and co-ordinators of the offer with the two banks, and UBS, also named as joint bookrunners" (GUARDIAN, 3/10).

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