Brookfield Asset Management mulls bid for Performance Sports: Reuters

Brookfield Asset Management, Canada’s largest alternative-assets manager, is considering a bid for troubled hockey gear-maker Performance Sports Group Ltd, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Performance Sports’ Toronto-listed shares, which were previously halted, were trading up 8.6 percent at $5.25, while its U.S.-listed shares were up 10.6 percent at US$3.97 in afternoon trading.

The company said, as previously announced, it had formed a special committee with the assistance of its financial adviser Centerview Partners LLC, and is continuing to review and evaluate strategic alternatives.

Performance Sports said on Tuesday it along with Centerview had discussions with certain interested parties and stakeholders, but no agreement has been reached with a third party.

Brookfield raised its stake to 13.2 percent in the company in September after having said it would push for a restructuring and a possible sale.

Brookfield is Performance Sports’ second largest shareholder after Sagard Capital Partners Management Corp, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The former chairman of Performance Sports, Graeme Roustan, told Reuters in August that he had hired investment banks Jefferies Group LLC and Canaccord Genuity to explore a bid.

Performance Sports, which said in August that it may default on its loans due to a delay in filing its annual report, hired Centerview to help negotiate with its lenders.

The company, which has been delaying its annual report citing internal investigation over its accounting, said it was the subject of inquiries by U.S. and Canadian securities regulators.

Performance Sports, which has a market value of $221.5 million, is also under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and faces a shareholder class action lawsuit.

The company agreed in August to an extension to file its annual and first quarter results by October 28.

Should the company file for creditor protection after that date, former chairman Roustan is said to be seeking financial backing to launch a bid for Performance Sports’ roughly US$440 million in debt, and then take control of the company through a restructuring, Bloomberg reported.

Brookfield declined to comment.

Update: The Canadian-born Performance Sports went public in mid-2014 after being backed by U.S. private equity firm Kohlberg & Co and other investors for about six years.

(Reporting by Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

Photo courtesy of Reuters