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The Globe and Mail

Bauer buys Easton-Bell’s baseball business

Hockey equipment maker Bauer Performance Sports Ltd. is once again swinging the bat with a baseball acquisition.

The company that made its name in ice hockey said on Thursday it has struck a definitive agreement with Easton-Bell Sports Inc. to acquire the Easton Baseball/Softball business for $330-million (U.S.) in cash.

Bauer has been on a diversification tear in recent years, buying into the baseball, lacrosse and clothing segments as it deals with a challenging hockey market.

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Among companies it has bought are Combat Sports Inc., manufacturer of baseball and softball bats, and Cascade Helmets Holding Inc., which makes lacrosse equipment.

"The combination of the No. 1 brand in hockey and the No. 1 brand in diamond sports is a perfect example of our ability to enhance our performance sports platform," said Kevin Davis, president and chief executive officer of Bauer.

Bauer says it wants to expand Easton Baseball/Softball's apparel business to include uniforms and add new geographical territory.

Easton-Bell Sports will retain the Easton Hockey and Cycling businesses.

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