Investment Approach

Case Study : Bauer Performance Sports

Under its prior ownership, Bauer’s strategic direction and market position had diminished. Kohlberg understood the value of Bauer’s historic enthusiast brand and shared management’s vision of reinvesting in the core technology to help Bauer not just reclaim its prior market position, but expand into adjacent categories. Kohlberg’s multi-disciplined approach of operational efficiencies, strategic repositioning and growth accelerants helped us realize our joint vision to transform Bauer into Performance Sports Group, a recognized industry-leading, technology-enabled business with multi-sport enthusiast brands. "

Kevin Davis - Chief Executive Officer
Company Description:

Performance Sports Group, Ltd. (f.k.a. Bauer Performance Sports, Ltd. or “Bauer”) is a leading developer and manufacturer of ice hockey, roller hockey, lacrosse, baseball and softball sports equipment, as well as related apparel and soccer apparel. The Company is the global leader in hockey, with the strongest and most recognized brand, and it holds the #1 North American position in baseball and softball.  Its products are marketed under the Bauer, Mission, Maverik, Cascade, Inaria, Combat and Easton brand names and are distributed by sales representatives and independent distributors throughout the world.

In 2011, Bauer completed an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange and in 2014 dual-listed with an offering on the New York Stock Exchange, upon which the Company changed its name to Performance Sports Group.  Following several secondary sales, Kohlberg maintains a minority ownership interest in the publicly traded Company.


Compelling Situation:

  • Kohlberg acquired Bauer in 2008 from its parent Nike in a corporate divisional carve-out
  • Bauer had languished as a non-core division of Nike, evidenced in lost share to competition, brand confusion, lagging performance in marketing and new product introduction


    Kohlberg Actions:

    • Put in place a newly constructed management team
    • Elevated the Company’s COO & CFO, Kevin Davis, to President & CEO, mentored by Kohlberg Operating Partner Rick Frank
    • Revamped sales capabilities and marketing strategies to focus on the superior performance of Bauer hockey products
    • Accelerated new product introductions
    • Closed six acquisitions to further leverage the Bauer platform: Mission-ITech, Maverik Lacrosse, Cascade, Inaria, Combat and Easton Baseball


      Results

      • Beginning in 2008, Bauer underwent a dynamic resurgence
      • New management team’s efforts in product development and marketing increased its leading share of the hockey equipment market from 35% to 52%
      • EBITDA increased from $30 million to $100 million, including a doubling of organic EBITDA
      • Initially listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange through a Canadian IPO in March of 2011, in June of 2014 the Company dual-listed on the New York Stock Exchange through a secondary IPO.




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        © 2017 Kohlberg & Company, L.L.C.

        Photography courtesy of C. Bernstein & MGF