Brooks Sports, a private running-shoe maker in Bothell, is being sold to Atlanta-based sporting-goods company Russell for about $115 million in cash. The deal between Russell and...
Brooks Sports, a private running-shoe maker in Bothell, is being sold to Atlanta-based sporting-goods company Russell for about $115 million in cash.
The deal between Russell and Whitney & Co., a Stamford, Conn.-based venture-capital firm that bought Brooks in 1998, is expected to close next month. It is subject to approval by Russell’s shareholders.
Brooks executives will continue to run the company as a wholly owned subsidiary of Russell. Chief Executive Jim Weber said there are no plans to lay off any of the company’s 165 employees or to move its headquarters from Bothell.
Russell would help the shoe company expand its apparel business and increase sales of track equipment to high schools and colleges, Weber said.
“We think we can double our sales by focusing on our core market of performance products,” Weber said.
Russell has been shopping to expand its product line. In the past two years, it has bought Spalding, which makes basketballs, soccer balls and footballs; Bike Athletic, which makes athletic-protective equipment and apparel; and Huffy Sports, which makes basketball backboards.
“This is a good opportunity for Brooks to build on their specialty-footwear business,” said John Horan, publisher of Sporting Goods Intelligence in Glen Mills, Pa.
Whitney & Co. bought Brooks from a Norwegian holding company for $41 million six years ago. It put Brooks up for sale in September. Whitney has refocused Brooks on high-performance running shoes and has stopped selling cleats and cross-training shoes. Apparel and shoe sales are expected to reach about $95 million this year, a 55 percent increase since 1998.
Kristina Shevory: 206-464-2039 or firstname.lastname@example.org