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Bauer snags lacrosse firm Cascade Helmets

Maryland's Joe Cummings, left, passes the ball as Duke's Henry Lobb, right, defends during the second quarter of their semifinal game in the NCAA Division I college men's lacrosse championship at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, May 26.

Gretchen Ertl/AP

Hockey equipment developer Bauer Performance Sports Ltd. has increased its reach into the market for lacrosse equipment with the acquisition of New York-based Cascade Helmets Holdings Inc.

Cascade is a leading designer and manufacturer of lacrosse helmets and eyewear. Bauer purchased the company for $64-million (U.S.), or 10 times Cascade's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). The purchase will be funded through approximately $30-million (Canadian) in new equity and about $34-million (U.S.) in borrowings.

The move is an important inroad for Bauer into lacrosse, the fastest-growing team sport in North America.

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"The acquisition of Cascade ... allows us to expand our product offering in our core hockey business through the use of Cascade's proprietary helmet technology and manufacturing capabilities," said Bauer's chief executive officer Kevin Davis.

In 2009, former NHL player Mark Messier partnered with Cascade to use the company's lacrosse helmet technology in a line of hockey helmets.

Bauer currently sells lacrosse sticks and protective gear under its Maverick brand and will continue to do so. Cascade's line of head protection products will complete Bauer's lacrosse equipment offering.

The acquisition will allow Bauer to cross-sell products to hockey and lacrosse players.

Bauer also expects some cost-saving through the acquisition and has plans to use Cascade's Liverpool, N.Y., facility to manufacture Bauer helmets. The company will continue to offer Cascade's custom-manufactured helmets from the facility as well.

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