Major League Baseball and Los Angeles-based private equity firm Seidler Equity Partners has acquired Rawlings Sporting Goods for about $395 millions.
The company was founded in St. Louis in 1887, Rawlings makes baseballs and gloves, in addition to other sports gear and apparel. The annual revenue of the company has about $330 million.
Rawlings current owner, Hoboken, N.J.-based Newell Brands, has announced the plans in January to shed the assets and then close factories as it concentrates on nine core consumer divisions.
Rawlings has deep ties to Major League Baseball. The sporting goods company is the official baseball supplier and official helmet of the league.
Chris Marinak, executive vice president of strategy, technology and innovation for MLB, in a statement, “MLB is excited to take an ownership position in one of the most iconic brands in sports and further build on the Rawlings legacy, which dates back to 1887. We are particularly interested in providing even more input and direction on the production of the Official Ball of Major League Baseball, one of the most important on-field products to the play of our great game.”
Rawlings employs about 150 people in the St. Louis area and 1,200 globally. Its headquarters building at 510 Maryville University Drive in Town and Country is owned by TD Ameritrade, a company that acquired Scottrade Financial Services last year.
Newell’s deal with Seidler Equity Partners is expected to close by mid-July. Morgan Stanley acted as financial adviser to Newell on the transaction. Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as financial adviser to Seidler Equity Partners.
Newell Rubbermaid acquired Rawlings’ former parent company, Jarden Corp., in 2016, and Newell Rubbermaid changed its name to Newell Brands.
Michael Polk, Newell Brands’ CEO, in a statement, “Rawlings is an iconic brand and Seidler Equity Partners, in partnership with Major League Baseball, will identify new opportunities for this brand and for the company’s employees. This transaction is a pivotal step in our company’s transformation to become a more focused, forward-facing consumer goods company with tremendous opportunities.”
Rawlings previously made some custom baseball gloves at its plant in Washington, Mo., but no longer makes any baseball gloves in the United States. The factory remains open.
Newell, which sells everything from Sharpie pens to Crock-Pot cookware, in May sold its plastics packaging unit Waddington Group for $2.3 billion.