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Rawlings Buys Easton

October 20, 2020 | by | @BatDigest

When Wilson bought Slugger a few years back it made it on our most important bat developments of the decade. Not 11 months into the new decade, who would have thought the industry already accomplished something that will be easy to make the most important things in this decade: Rawlings buying Easton.

There are plenty of questions to be answered. How this will affect distribution, bat lines, brand lines, gloves lines, and the Little League World Series, to name a few.

From the folks we’ve spoken to, the answer is we don’t know much. (And they probably don’t either). Not until the deal officially closes and gets past the boxes of documents and red tape will we know much more.

Here is the press release

ST. LOUIS and THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Rawlings Sporting Goods, Inc., (Rawlings), and Easton Diamond Sports, LLC, (Easton), announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Rawlings to acquire Easton. The transaction will strengthen the Rawlings and Easton brands, enhance product innovation and enable investments to grow the game.

“Over the years, Rawlings and Easton have shared a dedication to being best in class, which is the one constant that ultimately inspired our coming together and what will create the best baseball and softball company in the world,” said Mike Zlaket, President and CEO of Rawlings. “Whether it’s our products, innovation and technology, relationships with our customers, players and consumers, or our service to the game, Rawlings has never compromised. That will be especially true moving forward with the many opportunities and advantages our new integrated operation will provide everyone who loves baseball and softball.”

“The Easton and Rawlings brands complement each other exceptionally well and will deliver an improved value proposition to all stakeholders, including teams, players, coaches, dealers and associations throughout the industry,” said Dan Jelinek, President of Easton. “We believe the combination of these two leading brands will accelerate innovation, provide for greater investments in growing baseball and softball, and positively impact all constituents in and around the sports of baseball and softball.”

“Major League Baseball is committed to growing baseball and softball worldwide,” said Chris Marinak, Chief Operations and Strategy Officer at MLB. “Rawlings and Easton are both All-Star companies.  Capitalizing on the strength of these two companies will help drive future growth opportunities for both baseball and softball at all levels of play.”

Strategic Rationale
The transaction will create a leading baseball and softball equipment provider with a more diverse multi-brand portfolio that is supported by a deeper pool of expertise and talent. The combined organization will be positioned to further invest into R&D, drive product innovation, offer a one-stop shopping experience for customers, enable increased support for retail partners and expand customization options for players at all levels. The brands will invest to grow the games of baseball and softball, an initiative that will strengthen the industry overall, and create opportunities for enhanced partnerships.

Transaction Details
The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the receipt of U.S. regulatory clearance. Until close, Rawlings and Easton will remain separate companies and continue to operate independently. Existing shareholders of Peak Achievement Athletics Inc., the parent of Easton, will continue to participate as minority owners in the combined organization.

About Rawlings
Established in 1887, Rawlings is an innovative leading global brand and manufacturer of premium baseball and softball equipment, including gloves, balls, and protective headwear. Rawlings’ unparalleled quality, innovative engineering and expert craftsmanship are the fundamental reasons why more professional athletes, national governing bodies and sports leagues choose Rawlings.  Rawlings is the Official Baseball, Helmet, Face Guard and Glove of Major League Baseball, the Official Baseball of Minor League Baseball and the Official Baseball and Softball of the NCAA and the NAIA.  The company is headquartered in St. Louis. For more information, please visit www.Rawlings.com.

About Easton
Headquartered in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Easton is an iconic global brand in diamond sports.  Easton manufactures bats, bags, helmets and other baseball and softball equipment and apparel.  The company’s commitment to innovation and game-changing technologies propelled Easton to a leading bat position in the industry, and the company has long-established industry partnerships, including as the Official Equipment Supplier to Little League Baseball and Softball.  For more information, visit www.Easton.com.

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