A unit of Platinum Equity LLC has acquired the assets of Schutt Sports Inc., a bankrupt Litchfield, Ill., sports equipment maker, for about $33 million.
Platinum, the Beverly Hills private equity firm run by billionaire Tom Gores, said the deal closed Friday after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey approved the sale the day before. Platinum’s unit Kranos Intermediate Holding Corp. won the right to buy the assets in a disputed auction. Another bidder, Rawlings Sporting Goods Co., earlier objected to the process, complaining the company was unfairly prevented from submitting additional bids.
Privately held Schutt, which has been in business 92 years, makes protective sports equipment, including football helmets and faceguards, and offers aftermarket reconditioning services. It filed for bankruptcy protection in September to block a rival company called Riddell Inc. from collecting on a $29 million patent lawsuit verdict.
"Schutt Sports is a great company with a strong brand, quality products and enormous potential," Jacob Kotzubei, the Platinum partner who led the acquisition team, said in a statement. "The business also has a strong management team, talented employees and loyal customers.”
Robert Erb, Schutt Sports chief executive since 2007, will continue in that position, Platinum said. With 200 employees, Schutt is one of the largest employers in Litchfield, a community of 7,000 about 45 miles south of Springfield, Ill., according to the State Journal-Register newspaper of Springfield.
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