NEW YORK — The Sports Authority Inc. said on Monday that it entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group affiliated with Leonard Green & Partners for $1.3 billion, or $37.25 a share.
The investor group, led by Green Equity Investors, includes members of TSA’s senior management team. The transaction, which includes assumed debt, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2006. The deal is still subject to shareholder approval and the requisite regulatory requirements.
TSA’s board has already unanimously approved the merger agreement.
“The company received an acquisition proposal from Leonard Green & Partners and, after extensive negotiations and careful consideration in conjunction with our independent advisers, the independent committee of Sports Authority’s board has unanimously concluded that this transaction is in the best interest of our shareholders,” said Gordon Baker, chair of the special committee at TSA that approved the transaction, in a statement.
Jonathan Seiffer, partner at Leonard Green, said in a statement, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with this exceptional management team and build on the company’s track record of growth and success in the retail sporting goods industry.”
Doug Morton, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement that, as a private company, the retailer will have “greater flexibility” to accomplish its long-term goals. He said Leonard Green & Partners has an excellent track record of building value at its portfolio companies.
Based in Englewood, Colo., The Sports Authority is one of the nation’s largest full-line sporting goods retailers offering a comprehensive assortment of brand name sporting apparel and equipment. It operates 398 stores in 45 states under the Sports Authority, Gart Sports and Sportmart nameplates. Leonard Green & Partners is a Los Angeles-based private equity firm managing $3.7 billion.