Hockey gear maker Bauer’s owner files for bankruptcy protection

Performance Sports Group, the owner of hockey equipment maker Bauer, has filed for creditor protection in Canada and the U.S. while it restructures.

The company, which was once owned by Nike but currently makes Bauer hockey equipment as well as other sports gear including Easton baseball, is seeking protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code, and the Canadian equivalent, Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

That means people owed money by the company can’t start seizing assets to recoup their losses without a court monitor’s permission.

In filings, the company lists assets of between $500 million and $1 billion US, along with liabilities in the same range.

The company’s financial problems have been widely reported this year, one of major upheaval in the sports apparel industry. Several retail chains including Golf Town and The Sports Authority have also restructured their operations.

As part of its efforts to turn its business around, Exeter, N.H.-based Performance Sports announced a stalking horse bid from its largest investor Sagard Capital, and Toronto-based investment fund Fairfax Financial for $575 million.

A stalking horse bid is so-called because it’s an offer to buy the company’s assets which could be beaten by someone else, but serves as a floor for subsequent offers.

In August, the company’s former chairman Graeme Roustan said he was considering buying the company.

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