Easton-Bell Sports Inc. closed the sale of its Easton baseball and softball business,  refinanced its debt, officially changed its name and announced an agreement to sell Easton Cycling in a flurry of activity it says position it to invest more in its remaining Bell, Riddell and Giro helmet brands.

Since closing the sales of the baseball/softball business to Bauer Sports last week, the company has begun operating under the name as BRG Sports Inc, which takes the first letters of the three brands. BRG Sports expects to announce an agreement to sell its Easton hockey business in coming weeks, but will retain ownership of Blackburn, a bicycling accessories brand.


BRG announced it will use proceeds from the baseball/softball business plus $330 million from a new financing package to pay off its existing revolving loan agreement and redeem $350 million in senior secured notes bearing 9.75 percent interest that are due in December, 2016.  The refinancing eliminated all the company’s publicly traded debt, which means BRG is not obligated to report earnings and other corporate information to the Securities & Exchange Commission.



More importantly, the new capital structure positions the company for several strategic initiatives, which appear to revolve in part around providing improved concussion prevention technology in the wake of massive settlement between the NFL and former players alleging long term health effects from football-induced concussions. 



Riddell, for instance, began distributing its new SpeedFlex helmets equipped with the company’s InSite Impact Response System to elite college football teams last month. The helmet is designed to reduce the risk of head trauma by better dispersing energy from collisions. The InSite technology alerts coaches and trainers when a player suffers a significant hit or series of hits that may pose a risk of injury and needs to be rested or referred to a doctor for further evaluation. Riddell is expected to launch the helmets to the adult football market this August.

“Today our company is entering a new and exciting phase in our evolution, with a sharpened focus on maximizing the potential of our core brands of Bell, Riddell and Giro,” said BRG Sports Executive Chairman and CEO Terry Lee. “We see tremendous potential in pursuing key strategic initiatives and allocating additional capital to these core assets to support superior innovation and fuel growth in the years ahead.”
BRG could incorporate some of that technology in its Bell motorcycle and cycling helmets or Giro’s lightweight, high-performance helmets for cycling and snowsports. BRG also continues to own Blackburn, a maker of lights, pumps, bags, racks, trainers and other bicycle accessories.

BRG is headquartered at Easton-Bell Sports former research and development office in Scotts Valley, CA and continues to operate 32 facilities, including warehouses in Pennsylvania, Salt Lake City, Canada and Mexico.