Benneton Group has finally jettisoned the last of its Benneton Sportsystem brands, inking a deal Friday that will see current Prince management — led by CEO George Napier — partner with Lincolnshire Equity Fund II LP to purchase the former number one tennis brand.
BNG has agreed to sell the Prince and Ektelon brands and other assets for 36.5 million, or $39 million to the private equity group. Benetton said it will receive 10 million ($10.7 million) at the end of next month, and the remaining 26.5 million ($28.3 million) in January.
Prince reported sales of $82.3 million last year.
The deal, which should be finalized by the end of April, completes Benetton’s exit from its ill-fated venture into sporting goods. The company sold its Nordica ski unit and Rollerblade to cross-town Tecnica earlier this year.
The final tally for the sale of all Benneton Sportsystem brands totals just over $100 million.
The Benneton family spent in excess of $500 million for the once-stellar brands in the early 90s. It was announced last month that three family members closely associated with this disaster were purged from BNG management positions.
Lincolnshire has a bit of history in the sporting goods market, purchasing the Riddell Group division of Riddell Sports in June 2001.
>>> Benneton was always focused on the European propensity for “form-over-function” and failed miserably with brands that were best known for technological advances and innovation. Perhaps management can now focus on “what works” again rather than “what looks good”