Parent of Louisville Slugger baseball bats to be acquired by China's Anta Sports
December 16, 2018 | 4:58 pm CST
Louisville Slugger Hardwood Bats Acquired by Wilson Sporting Good
An order of ash wood bats running through the Louisville Slugger factory.

CHICAGO - Anta Sports Products heads up a Chinese investor group that will acquire Amer Sports Corporation, which owns the iconic maker of hardwood baseball bats, Louisville Slugger, as well as two other sports items frequently made with wood components, Wilson tennis rackets and Atomic Ski.

The acquisition comes as trade tensions over many wood industry products - plywood, kitchen cabinets, woodworking machinery among them - continue between the U.S. and China. A webinar examining  the impact on the wood industry was recently staged by Woodworking Network. A session on the effect of tariffs on U.S. kitchen cabinet manufacturing will be presented at the 2019 Executive Briefing Conference by Freedonia Research. 
 
The fundamentally American character of the Louisville Slugger business add additional drama to the  trade clash. It is the Official Bat of Major League Baseball (MLB) and is the No. 1 bat in the league. Founded in 1884, Louisville Slugger has sold more than 100,000,000 bats. 
 
Louisville Slugger’s business and marketing offices are located within another unit of Amer Sports, Wilson Sporting Goods’ global headquarters in Chicago. Wilson acquired Louisville Slugger in 2015. Its iconic wood bats continue to be made where they began in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, which is also home to The Louisville Slugger Museum. 
Atomic Ski manufacturing
Amer Sports Corporation, a publicly traded Finnish company, first confirmed in September that it had received a non-binding preliminary indication of interest from a consortium comprising ANTA Sports Products Limited and the Asian private equity firm FountainVest Partners to acquire all the shares of Amer Sports for cash consideration. Now Reuters reports an agreement has been reach with the Anta group paying €5.2 billion ($2.8 billion U.S.)
 
Amer Sports (www.amersports.com) is a sporting goods company with internationally recognized brands including Salomon, Arc’teryx, Peak Performance, Atomic, Mavic, Suunto, Wilson and Precor. The Group’s business is balanced by its broad portfolio of sports and products and a presence in all major markets. Amer Sports shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange (AMEAS).

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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.