Reebok to buy CCM, Jofa, Koho brands in $329 million US takeover

Reebok offers $21.25 cash per share for Hockey Co. Holdings, owner of CCM brand

Shares of The Hockey Company Holdings Inc. (TSX:HCY)jumped more than 20 per cent on Thursday after athletic shoe and apparel maker Reebok International (NYSE:RBK)unveiled a takeover bid for the owner of some of the most famous hockey-gear brands in Canada – CCM, JOFA and Koho.

Hockey Co. shares gained $3.88, closing at $21.08 on the TSX. Reebok shares were down a nickel at $42.04 US on the NYSE.

Reebok's takeover offer is for $21.25 a share in cash. The overall deal is worth about $329 million US, including the assumption of $125 million US in Hockey Co. debt.

"The Hockey Company's leading market position with elite athletes will enable Reebok to expand its reach to young athletes," Paul Fireman, the chairman and chief executive officer of Reebok, said.

"Hockey is currently one of the world's fastest growing participatory sports, and there has been a dramatic increase in female participation," Fireman said.

Hockey Co. has a long-term licensing agreement with the National Hockey League to supply jerseys to all 30 teams. The company also holds the exclusive global rights to make and market authentic and replica NHL jerseys.

The company also has licensing deals with the Canadian Hockey League, the American Hockey League and the ECHL.

Shareholders who own about 41 per cent of Hockey Co., including Wellspring Captial Management, have already agreed to Reebok's offer.

Hockey Co. changed its name from SLM International in March 1999.

Reebok's main competitor, Nike, moved into the hockey market in 1994 when it bought Bauer.