Major League Baseball and Seidler Equity Partners (SEP), a private equity fund with connections to San Diego Padres ownership, are purchasing Rawling Sporting Goods from Newell Brands for $395 million.
Seidler Equity Partners will manage a fund set up for the acquisition, expected to be approximately $395 million, subject to customary working capital and transaction adjustments. Rawlings’ 2017 net sales were approximately $330 million.
Peter Seidler is a managing partner of the San Diego Padres holding company, and the Seidler family is involved both with MLB and MiLB team ownership, as well as management of Historic Dodgertown (Therese O’Malley Seidler is Peter O’Malley’s sister, and both invested in the Padres as well). Seidler is a founder and managing partner of Seidler Equity Partners.
“We are pleased with the agreement to sell Rawlings at an attractive multiple,” said Michael Polk, Newell Brands president and chief executive officer, in a press statement. “Rawlings is an iconic brand and Seidler Equity Partners, in partnership with Major League Baseball, will identify new opportunities for this brand and for the company’s employees. This transaction is a pivotal step in our company’s transformation to become a more focused, forward-facing consumer goods company with tremendous opportunities.”
“We are delighted to partner with both MLB and the talented management team at Rawlings, to build on the remarkable 131-year history of this premier sports brand,” said Eric Kutsenda, an SEP founding partner, in a press statement
“MLB is excited to take an ownership position in one of the most iconic brands in sports and further build on the Rawlings legacy, which dates back to 1887,” said Chris Marinak, MLB’s executive vice president for strategy, technology & innovation, in a press statement. ” We are particularly interested in providing even more input and direction on the production of the Official Ball of Major League Baseball, one of the most important on-field products to the play of our great game.”