Amer Sports, the group behind brands such as Atomic, Salomon, Suunto, Mavic and others, has announced the takeover of Louisville Slugger, a manufacturer of baseball bats made of wood and other materials as well as related accessories such as gloves, bags and protective equipment.
The move is meant to strengthen the ball sport business of the Finnish group, which consists basically of the Wilson and DeMarini brands. Amer is paying $70 million in cash to the current owner of Louisville Slugger, Hillerich & Bradsby Co. Sales of Louisville Slugger reached $75 million last year. The brand is described as the global leader in the wooden bats category and is official supplier to the Major League Baseball in the U.S.
Amer estimates the global market of baseball and softball goods to be worth $2.2 billion of which some $1.4 billion derive from the U.S. with its 20 million baseball players. Other important markets are Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and various Latin American countries.