Bauer Hockey has purchased Mission-Itech Hockey, a maker of goalie equipment and other protective wear, in an ongoing consolidation of the hockey gear industry.

Mission-Itech's facility in Kirkland, Que., and its distribution facility in Plattsburgh, N.Y., will remain open until May 31, 2009 — and then close in a multi-stage process affecting 140 non-union employees.

Bauer Hockey continues to employ 300 people at its research, design and development centre in St. Jerome, Que., and its Canadian headquarters and distribution centre in Mississauga, Ont.

Mission-Itech was formed in 2004 by the merger of California-based Mission Hockey, a leader in roller hockey equipment, and Montreal-based Itech Sport Products Inc., which specializes in helmets and facial protection.

Montreal businessman Graeme Roustan, with Kohlberg & Co., acquired the Bauer hockey equipment business from Nike in February for $200 million US.

Bauer, in business since 1927, was purchased by Nike from Canstar for $395 million US but later sold several of its manufacturing businesses in the late 1990s.

Bauer Hockey said the addition of Mission-Itech will strengthen its overall position in the marketplace.

Mission's chief executive officer said such consolidations in the hockey equipment business are inevitable.

 "Consolidation is essential for the long-term success of the overall hockey industry," said Mike Whan.

"[This] combined commitment will only help increase the overall health of the industry and the sport itself," he said.