Wilson Sporting Goods Co., one of the best-known names on American sports fields, has agreed to be purchased for $200 million by Finnish business group Amer-Yhtyma Oy.
Amer said in a statement in Helsinki it will buy privately held Wilson from Wesray Capital Corp., the New York-based investment firm founded by former Treasury Secretary William Simon.Chicago-based Wilson, which was founded in 1913, makes a range of sporting goods - including tennis, golf, basketball and football equipment - that are familiar to sportsmen and schoolchildren across the United States.
Wesray, a pioneer in leveraged buyouts, took Wilson private in 1985 for approximately $150 million, said Dick Wenz, Wilson's chief financial officer.
Wesray has specialized in buying undervalued companies with well-known products and reselling them at a hefty profit. Its previous purchases include Avis Inc., the second-largest U.S. car rental agency, which it later sold to employees.