The sale of AstroTurf to SportGroup Holdings has closed, creating arguably the largest outdoor sports surfacing company in the world.
The sale was approved on Friday, August 12, 2016 and closed Friday, August 19, 2016. AstroTurf products and services will be marketed by the newly formed company AstroTurf Corporation. By adding AstroTurf, SYNlawn, and the related manufacturing operations to its portfolio of companies and brands (which includes Polytan, APT, Melos, Rekortan, Laykold and Poligras), SportGroup said it’s well positioned to continue its global leadership of the sports surfacing industry.
SportGroup, founded in 1969, is a leader in artificial turf systems and running tracks. Prior to the acquisition of AstroTurf and related turf entities, SportGroup reported a €340 million annual turnover (2015) and around 1,000 employees. The company maintains production plants in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region and operates in more than 70 countries. It has manufactured and installed more than 7,000 fields and 16,000 tracks. It is a supplier of synthetic turf fields to the Olympic Games, including Rio (2016).
This acquisition enhances SportGroup and AstroTurf’s strength, size, stability, and manufacturing capacity, positioning the team for rapid growth. The purchase provides SportGroup direct access to North American athletic turf customers through AstroTurf, a proven American brand with a 50 year history. AstroTurf will play a leading role in SportGroup’s go to market strategy for North America and beyond.
SportGroup will retain all AstroTurf’s technologies, processes, products, intellectual property, and personnel. Adding AstroTurf to the portfolio of SportGroup brands and companies brings greater stability to sports facilities and the industry as a whole.
“We are welcoming AstroTurf to our team,” stated Andreas M. Schulze Ising, CEO and president of APT Advanced Polymer Technology Corp., “to create the only all encompassing sport systems company in the world to finally service each and every sport with the complete range of surface solutions.”
“Becoming a SportGroup company elevates the AstroTurf brand and enables us to bring even more innovations to market,” said, Heard Smith, chief executive officer of AstroTurf and the rest of the Turf Division. “The union of these brands ushers in the next era of sophisticated sports surfacing for today’s highly trained athletes.”
AstroTurf and other SportGroup companies together forge a team of sports surfacing experts that is focused on introducing the most cutting edge technologies. The alliance fosters global cooperation in research and development initiatives and offers more benefits to clients, including:
- More FIFA, FIH, and World Rugby-certified systems and pitches than ever before
- Highly evolved American Football turf systems selections
- Top-tier Olympic and World Cup field hockey surfaces
- Industry-leading baseball and softball systems
- More RootZone® products and installations than any other provider on the market
- Legendary running track brands from APT, including Rekortan
- Largest and most efficient installation force worldwide
- Leading EPDM rubber manufacturing from Melos
- Leading tennis court surface systems from APT, including Laykold
- Most advanced “green” technologies from APT, including TuftGuard® and Qualipur® adhesives
Frank Dittrich, chief executive officer of SportGroup, noted, “AstroTurf is perhaps the most iconic brand in sports. It adds tremendous value to SportGroup and its future as the global leader in outdoor sports surfacing.”
AstroTurf fields will continue to be manufactured in the United States in the company’s own vertically integrated, advanced manufacturing facilities, which now benefit from expanded capacity since the acquisition. In addition, all employees will remain with the organization, providing stability for clients and distributors.