By  on June 4, 2007

Boxing and sporting goods manufacturer Everlast Worldwide Inc. has inked a deal to be acquired by a New York-based investment consortium for more than $146 million in cash.

The Hidary Group, the lead sponsor, will pay $26.50 per share, a 14.5 percent premium over Thursday's closing price and a 30 percent premium over the month's average closing price. Everlast said the acquisition is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2007.

The transaction, which will take the company private, was approved by Everlast's board in a special meeting on Friday, but must still be approved by Everlast's shareholders. Executives at Everlast and Haidary could not be reached for comment.

"We are pleased with the terms of this transaction and believe it is in the best interests of the company's stockholders," said Seth Horowitz, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Everlast, in a statement. "The Hidary Group has been an excellent licensing partner, and, as such, has not only embraced the Everlast brand, but also our strategic direction and long-term vision."

Everlast has been the main provider of gloves and equipment for boxers since 1910 and later extended its reach beyond the boxing ring with apparel, footwear and other lifestyle products and accessories.

New York-based Hidary has a portfolio that includes consumer goods, real estate, technology and financial services companies. Other investment firms participating in the consortium include Gracie Capital, Ore Hill Partners and Seneca Capital.

"We believe that the depth of our experience growing brands online and offline offers an exciting fit to help management further enhance Everlast's iconic global brand," said Jack Hidary, managing partner of The Hidary Group, in a statement. "Everlast Worldwide, its management and its employees are a great addition to our group of companies."

Piper Jaffray & Co. is serving as financial adviser to Everlast Worldwide, and Clarence Schwab, managing partner of C. Schwab LLC, is serving as financial adviser to the Hidary Group.

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