Riddell Sports Inc. Announces Sale of Riddell Group Division

Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Riddell Sports Inc.

    NEW YORK, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Riddell Sports Inc. (Amex:   RDL) today
 announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its Riddell Group Division
 to an acquisition affiliate of Lincolnshire Management, Inc., a New York
 based, private-equity fund.  Under the terms of the agreement, Riddell Sports,
 Inc. will receive cash at closing equal to $61.0 million plus the approximate
 amount of short-term debt incurred by the Riddell Group Division between
 January 1, 2001 and closing.
     The Company will use the proceeds from the transaction, net of expenses,
 to reduce indebtedness and/or to be reinvested in the Company's business, in
 accordance with the terms of the Company's credit facility from Bank of
 America and it's Senior Notes.
     The merger agreement was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of
 the Company.  The Board of Directors received a fairness opinion from Lehman
 Brothers, the financial advisor to the Company.
     As part of the transaction, Lincolnshire has received commitment letters
 from GE Capital, as agent, and Comerica Bank, as co-agent, for senior debt
 financing.  PNC Equity Management Corp. has provided a commitment for
 mezzanine financing, and Lincolnshire, with PNC Equity Management Corp.
 participating, will provide equity financing for the transaction.  The
 consummation of the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement is
 subject to several conditions including, among others, the consummation of the
 above-described financings, the obtaining of required consents or agreements
 from National Football League Properties and other third parties, the
 expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino
 laws and the absence of material adverse changes to the business of the
 Riddell Group Division.  Although there can be no assurance that the sale will
 be completed, the Company expects, subject to the satisfaction of all
 conditions, to consummate the sale in June 2001.  Under certain limited
 circumstances, if the merger agreement is terminated or the merger is not
 consummated, Lincolnshire will be entitled to a termination fee of up to
 $3.5 million.
     The Riddell Group Division includes: (i) all of the Company's Team Sports
 business, except Umbro branded team soccer products, (ii) the Company's
 licensing segment, which allows third-parties to market certain products using
 the Riddell and MacGregor trademarks to third parties and (iii) the Company's
 retail segment, which markets a line of sports collectibles and athletic
 equipment to retailers in the United States and to a limited extent
 internationally.
     In 2000, the Company had net sales of approximately $235 million, of which
 almost $90 million, or approximately 40%, were from the businesses being sold
 in the proposed transaction.  The Company expects that its 2001 earnings will
 be reduced as a result of the divestiture.  The magnitude of the actual impact
 will depend on the closing date of the proposed transaction.
     Commenting on the announcement, Mr. David Mauer, the Company's President
 and CEO said, "Last year, we hired Lehman Brothers to explore strategic
 alternatives to enhance stockholder value.  This process included analyzing
 the sale of all or a portion of the Company and identifying key acquisition or
 investment alternatives.  Today, we are happy to announce the sale of the
 Riddell Group Division and that we continue to work with Lehman Brothers to
 evaluate acquisition or investment possibilities for the remaining business."
     Subsequent to the closing of the transaction, the Company will seek the
 approval of shareholders to change the Company's name.
 
     Riddell Sports Inc. is a leading marketer and distributor of products and
 services to the 30 million participants in the extracurricular segment of the
 educational market.  The Company owns or licenses leading brands, such as
 Riddell, Varsity Spirit, Umbro and MacGregor and provides products and
 services for team sports and school spirit activities.  The Company markets
 its products and services to schools and recreational organizations and the
 coaches and participants in the extracurricular market through its own
 nationwide sales force, web sites targeted to specific activities and a
 year-round marketing cycle of special events, competitions and instruction.
     Statements made in this press release concerning the Company's business
 outlook and anticipated profitability, together with the statements regarding
 the proposed sale of the Riddell Group Division are "forward-looking
 statements" as that term is defined under federal securities laws.  All
 forward-looking statements are subject to the risks and uncertainties,
 including but not limited to obtaining the requisite financing and consents,
 and general economic conditions.
     For more information, visit Riddell's web site at
 http://www.riddellir.com.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -- Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X46245635
 
 

SOURCE Riddell Sports Inc.
    NEW YORK, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Riddell Sports Inc. (Amex:   RDL) today
 announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its Riddell Group Division
 to an acquisition affiliate of Lincolnshire Management, Inc., a New York
 based, private-equity fund.  Under the terms of the agreement, Riddell Sports,
 Inc. will receive cash at closing equal to $61.0 million plus the approximate
 amount of short-term debt incurred by the Riddell Group Division between
 January 1, 2001 and closing.
     The Company will use the proceeds from the transaction, net of expenses,
 to reduce indebtedness and/or to be reinvested in the Company's business, in
 accordance with the terms of the Company's credit facility from Bank of
 America and it's Senior Notes.
     The merger agreement was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of
 the Company.  The Board of Directors received a fairness opinion from Lehman
 Brothers, the financial advisor to the Company.
     As part of the transaction, Lincolnshire has received commitment letters
 from GE Capital, as agent, and Comerica Bank, as co-agent, for senior debt
 financing.  PNC Equity Management Corp. has provided a commitment for
 mezzanine financing, and Lincolnshire, with PNC Equity Management Corp.
 participating, will provide equity financing for the transaction.  The
 consummation of the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement is
 subject to several conditions including, among others, the consummation of the
 above-described financings, the obtaining of required consents or agreements
 from National Football League Properties and other third parties, the
 expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino
 laws and the absence of material adverse changes to the business of the
 Riddell Group Division.  Although there can be no assurance that the sale will
 be completed, the Company expects, subject to the satisfaction of all
 conditions, to consummate the sale in June 2001.  Under certain limited
 circumstances, if the merger agreement is terminated or the merger is not
 consummated, Lincolnshire will be entitled to a termination fee of up to
 $3.5 million.
     The Riddell Group Division includes: (i) all of the Company's Team Sports
 business, except Umbro branded team soccer products, (ii) the Company's
 licensing segment, which allows third-parties to market certain products using
 the Riddell and MacGregor trademarks to third parties and (iii) the Company's
 retail segment, which markets a line of sports collectibles and athletic
 equipment to retailers in the United States and to a limited extent
 internationally.
     In 2000, the Company had net sales of approximately $235 million, of which
 almost $90 million, or approximately 40%, were from the businesses being sold
 in the proposed transaction.  The Company expects that its 2001 earnings will
 be reduced as a result of the divestiture.  The magnitude of the actual impact
 will depend on the closing date of the proposed transaction.
     Commenting on the announcement, Mr. David Mauer, the Company's President
 and CEO said, "Last year, we hired Lehman Brothers to explore strategic
 alternatives to enhance stockholder value.  This process included analyzing
 the sale of all or a portion of the Company and identifying key acquisition or
 investment alternatives.  Today, we are happy to announce the sale of the
 Riddell Group Division and that we continue to work with Lehman Brothers to
 evaluate acquisition or investment possibilities for the remaining business."
     Subsequent to the closing of the transaction, the Company will seek the
 approval of shareholders to change the Company's name.
 
     Riddell Sports Inc. is a leading marketer and distributor of products and
 services to the 30 million participants in the extracurricular segment of the
 educational market.  The Company owns or licenses leading brands, such as
 Riddell, Varsity Spirit, Umbro and MacGregor and provides products and
 services for team sports and school spirit activities.  The Company markets
 its products and services to schools and recreational organizations and the
 coaches and participants in the extracurricular market through its own
 nationwide sales force, web sites targeted to specific activities and a
 year-round marketing cycle of special events, competitions and instruction.
     Statements made in this press release concerning the Company's business
 outlook and anticipated profitability, together with the statements regarding
 the proposed sale of the Riddell Group Division are "forward-looking
 statements" as that term is defined under federal securities laws.  All
 forward-looking statements are subject to the risks and uncertainties,
 including but not limited to obtaining the requisite financing and consents,
 and general economic conditions.
     For more information, visit Riddell's web site at
 http://www.riddellir.com.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -- Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X46245635
 
 SOURCE  Riddell Sports Inc.