Nautic Partners, LLC, a private equity firm with more than $2.3 billion of capital under management, today announced that it has acquired Prince Sports, Inc., in partnership with Prince’s management. Headquartered in Bordentown, New Jersey, Prince is a premier branded sporting goods company that develops, sources, and markets racquet sports equipment, footwear, apparel, and accessories for tennis and indoor court sports.
Founded in 1970, Prince has a 37-year track record of developing premium quality products for the racquet sports industry. The company pioneered many patented innovative designs including the “oversized” racquet, the “longbody” racquet and, most recently, “O-Port” technology for broad sports equipment applications. The company’s brands, which include Prince and Ektelon, have consistently ranked among the top global racquet brands over the past three decades.
“Prince is an iconic brand in racquet sports,” said Chris Crosby, Managing Director of Nautic. “The Prince management team has done a terrific job rejuvenating that brand by combining product innovation with marketing and service. The whole organization is focused on broadening its footprint globally, and we are ready to support their quest to be #1 in the racquet sports industry.”
“In the last few months, I have spent countless hours with my management team and our partners at Nautic, and am genuinely excited to be joining them,” said Prince Chief Executive Officer, George Napier. “They have the expertise and financial strength to help the company tap into major growth opportunities. I am confident they will be great partners for years to come.”
GE Antares Capital provided the senior debt financing for the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Prince is Nautic Partners’ third investment from its most recent fund, Nautic Partners VI, LP. Nautic has a successful history of transactions in the sporting goods industry, including investments in Pace Fitness, LLC and Savage Sports Corporation.
About Prince Sports, Inc.
Prince Sports, Inc., based in New Jersey, is a recognized leader in game-improvement technologies and engineering-based high-performance sports equipment. Since 1970, Prince and Ektelon have revolutionized tennis, squash and racquetball with innovations including “Oversize,” “Longbody” and “O-Port” racquet technologies, Natural Foot Shape footwear technology, Synthetic Gut String and Electronic Ball Machines. Prince Sports has operations on three continents and distribution in over 100 countries. For more information, please visit www.princetennis.com.