NORTHBROOK, Ill., — Maurice Sporting Goods, Inc., one of North America’s largest distributors of outdoor sporting goods, announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its assets to Middleton Partners. To facilitate the transaction, Maurice and its subsidiaries today filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Middleton Partners, a private investment firm with deep experience investing in distribution and consumer products businesses based in Northbrook, Illinois, has signed a letter of intent to purchase Maurice as a strategic buyer and is currently finalizing an Asset Purchase Agreement. In accordance with Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, other companies will have an opportunity to submit competing offers for the assets. The Company expects the sale transaction to be completed within 30 to 45 days.
“We are extremely pleased that Middleton Partners is going to purchase Maurice’s assets and continue our strategic vision and customer and vendor relationships,” said Jory Katlin, Maurice President and Chief Executive Officer. “It has been a challenging couple of years, I am excited we have found the right partner to strengthen the Company’s balance sheet and unleash new funding to fuel future growth.”
This asset sale follows significant measures the Company has taken during the past two years to address liquidity concerns, including reducing operating costs, divesting non-core assets and improving processes. The Chapter 11 reorganization and sale process will have no impact on the Company’s daily operations or its ability to fulfill its obligations to customers and employees.
“Acquiring the assets of Maurice aligns with our investment mission of investing in high potential companies that need a financial and strategic partner to achieve their objectives,” said Keith Jaffee, a principal at Middleton Partners.
In addition to the availability of cash from ongoing operations, Maurice also announced it has received a commitment for up to $20 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from its bank group led by Bank of Montreal. The DIP financing will be used to maintain uninterrupted service and delivery of products to Maurice customers during the completion of the sale transaction, and to ensure payment to vendors for post-petition purchases in the ordinary course.
Maurice Sporting Goods filed its voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington.
About Maurice Sporting Goods, Inc.
Maurice Sporting Goods is a family owned wholesaler of sporting goods products in the fishing, hunting, outdoor recreation, marine, sports licensing and outdoor gift categories, serving mass retailers and independent dealers throughout the United States, Canada and other international markets. Maurice also operates a portfolio of sourcing and manufacturing companies containing recognizable brands such as Shoreline Marine, South Bend Fishing Tackle and Rivers Edge Outdoor themed gift products.
About Middleton Partners
Middleton Partners is an active investor of private equity in real estate and operating company opportunities offering returns that exceed industry or sector comparables. In the past five years, the firm has invested in excess of $250 million, focusing on a variety of property types in markets throughout the US as well as operating companies in the consumer products industry as well as manufacturers whose principal customers are national or strong regional & e-commerce retailers. Combing their talents in capital formation, venture management, asset management and revenue growth, Middleton’s principals typically fund between $10 and $50 million of equity from a capital base that includes the firm’s principals and a network of family office and high net worth investors.