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Struggling Fenway Partners eyes $900m from NFL helmet maker sale

18 Apr 2013

Giants NFLUS mid-market buyout house Fenway Partners is reportedly preparing to sell NFL helmet maker Easton-Bell Sports for up to $900m as the firm looks to spark LP interest in backing further acquisitions.

The firm is finalising advisors for the sale process according to Reuters, which cited three people familiar with the matter.

Fenway bought Bell Sports in 2004 before merging it with Riddell, the NFL helmet brand, and Easton.

News of the sale follows Riddell being ordered to pay $11.5m in damages to a man who may have suffered brain damage as a result of the concussion he sustained during a high school football game in 2008.

A Colorado judge ruled Riddell had not sufficiently warned players wearing its helmets about the dangers of potential concussions.

Fenway has struggled in the wake of the financial crisis and has failed to make a new purchase in about two years.

It has turned to a deal-by-deal strategy rather than raising a new fund according to a report by Dow Jones earlier this year.

The firm last raised $700m for its 2007 vehicle, and has gathered more than $2bn of capital across three funds.

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