Sources: Easton-Bell Sports Could Be Sold Off In Pieces After Riddell Hinders Company Deal
Fenway Partners, the private equity firm that owns Easton-Bell Sports and its helmet-making subsidiary Riddell, "will look to sell individual brands" after the company failed to sell as a whole last year "because of the liabilities associated with gridiron concussions," according to sources cited by Josh Kosman of the N.Y. POST. Sources noted that Fenway, under the changed strategy, now is "very close to selling the company’s growing Easton baseball and softball helmet and bat business to publicly traded Bauer Performance Sports." Sources said that Fenway also is "willing to sell its other divisions, which include the Giro bicycle accessories brand, the Bell cycling and motorcycling helmet brand and the Blackburn bike brand." Riddell generates roughly $200M in annual sales, "representing about one-quarter of the company’s revenue." Riddell’s deal to be the official helmet of the NFL, which started in '89 and was "scheduled to run in perpetuity, expires with Sunday’s Super Bowl." The NFL, which is "concerned about the growing issue of concussions suffered by its players and the implication of 'selling exclusive branding rights' to a single company," ended the Riddell deal in October (N.Y. POST, 1/27).