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Bauer to acquire New Yorks Cascade Helmets in US64M deal

TORONTO — Hockey equipment company Bauer Performance Sports Ltd. is buying Cascade Helmets Holdings Inc. for US$64-million in a bid to expand its lacrosse business and acquire the company’s patented helmet technology.“The acquisition of Cascade increases our presence in North America’s fastest growing team sport and allows us to expand our product offering in our core hockey business through the use of Cascade’s proprietary helmet technology and manufacturing capabilities,” Bauer chief executive Kevin Davis said.[np-related]New York-based Cascade makes lacrosse helmets and eyewear as well as hockey helmets.The deal builds on Bauer’s Maverik brand of lacrosse sticks, heads, shafts and protective gear.Bauer said it plans to use Cascade’s patented head-protection technologies and its partnership with former NHL star Mark Messier to improve its own products.The company also expects to expand Cascade’s custom manufacturing capabilities for lacrosse and hockey helmets to include Bauer hockey helmets.Bauer said it expects the acquisition to immediately add to its bottom line as Cascade’s profit margins are about twice as large as its own. Cascade earned US$22.1-million in revenue in 2011.Bauer says it will pay for the deal by issuing C$30-million in new stock and borrowing US$34-million.The company said it has signed a deal with a syndicate of underwriters to sell 3.21 million shares to the public at a price of $7.80 per share to raise $25 million.Bauer has also signed a deal with Kohlberg Management VI, LLC, for an additional 642,000 shares at the same price to raise an additional $5-million.Shares in the company closed up six cents at $8.06 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.The deal is expected to close June 29.Bauer makes and sells ice hockey, roller hockey, and lacrosse equipment as well as related apparel marketed under the Bauer Hockey, Mission Roller Hockey and Maverik Lacrosse brands.— With files from Reuters

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