Schutt Sports Gets Capital Infusion for Growth…

Schutt Sports got a shot in the arm last week as private equity firm Gridiron Capital LLC took a majority stake in the team sports company. There are no changes planned for the company and Julie Nimmons will remain at the helm of Schutt.

Sports Executive Weekly caught up with Ms. Nimmons last week after the recapitalization was announced. She said that Gridiron was chosen as a partner due in large part to their experience with family businesses. Judging by the firm’s name, its affinity for sports (and competition) certainly didn’t hurt either. Gridiron managing partner Tom Burger played football at Duke.

“Gridiron has great resources to help us grow the business,” Nimmons told SEW. “This is such a great opportunity for Schutt.” Julie alluded to a number of initiatives that may be part of the company’s future, including new product introductions and some acquisitions “that make sense.”

Based on consolidation of the market, and the hungry nature of the newly energized Riddell Bell Sports business, this is probably not a bad time to line up with solid players that can infuse capital and other resources into a business that will have to play offense to grow.

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Teresa Hartford

Teresa Hartford Editorial & Creative Director | SGB Media teresa@sgbonline.com | 704.651.5741

Schutt Sports Gets Capital Infusion for Growth

Schutt Sports, of Litchfield, Ill., announced on April 5, 2005, it has been recapitalized by management and Gridiron Capital LLC, of New Canaan, Conn. This will provide Schutt Sports with additional capital to develop innovative sports equipment and expand into new lines in team equipment.

“Our relationship with Gridiron Capital will accelerate new product development and open the possibility for Schutt to acquire complementary businesses,” said Julie Nimmons, president of Schutt, which has been in business since 1920. “This is the result of a long search for the right partner to help us compete even more effectively from a platform of innovation.”

“Schutt has been a solid performer and is well positioned for further growth,” said Gridiron Capital’s Managing Partner, Tom Burger. “The company has carved out a strong niche as the leader in innovative protective gear, which is a solid base for introducing new products and expanding market share. Schutt has demonstrated the ability to compete at a high level and we are committed to supporting Schutt’s strong performance by providing additional resources to support and grow the company. We look forward to partnering with Julie and the entire team at Schutt as the company continues its leadership in this expanding market place”

Gridiron Capital, LLC is a private investment firm focused on investing in and growing smaller middle market manufacturing, service and specialty consumer companies in the United States. The firm’s principals have a long and successful history of investing in smaller middle market companies. They are successful private equity investors and business owners and operators with significant business building experience. The Gridiron principals work closely with management teams to develop strategies for the portfolio companies and provide the necessary human and financial resources needed to execute business plans and build the company

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