Friday, February 22, 2008

Nike cuts loose Bauer hockey unit

Nike Inc. is selling its Nike Bauer Hockey subsidiary to an investor group led by Kohlberg & Co. and expatriate Canadian W. Graeme Roustan for $200-million (U.S.) in cash, the sporting goods giant announced Thursday.

Nike acquired what was then Canstar Sports and its valuable Bauer and Cooper brands in 1995 for $395-million. At the time, the giant sports and apparel company was seeking a foothold in the burgeoning in-line skate market. Nike had visions of it developing into a billion-dollar-plus recreational sport. But the sport never grew as forecast.

Today, Nike views hockey as a minor niche sport that doesn't fit into its strategy of developing multi-billion-dollar global properties, reports the Globe and Mail. It had already written off a sizable chunk of its hockey investment before putting the subsidiary on the market... Hockey, small??! Wonder what that means for Nike Lacrosse?