Montreal-based CCM Hockey, a portfolio company of Birch Hill Equity Partners, has acquired Step Skating Blades, a maker of skate blades. No financial terms were disclosed. Birch Hill acquired CCM in 2017. CCM Hockey is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of hockey equipment and related apparel.
MONTREAL, Feb. 3, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – CCM Hockey, a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of hockey equipment and related apparel, is proud to announce the acquisition of Step Skating Blades Inc., the maker of STEP Steel high-quality skate blades.
Headquartered in Quebec City and founded in 2000, STEP Steel has revolutionized hockey skate blades with their top quality steel, unique manufacturing process and innovative profile designs. STEP is one of the most widely recognized hockey brands among Elite hockey players, equipment managers and pro players everywhere.
“The reason we chose to acquire STEP is simple: They are as obsessed as we are with performance and work tirelessly to create a precision tool that makes skaters more confident in every stride; it is the reason the majority of NHL players, and some of the best in the world such as Brent Burns, Alexander Ovechkin and John Tavares, use STEP Steel. After all, steel is every hockey player’s connection point to the ice, so it is critical that our skaters have access to the best,” said Rick Blackshaw, CEO of CCM Hockey.
“From our industry-leading one-piece boot technology that delivers 34% more energy transfer relative to two piece boots, to the best blade holder that keeps blades attached even when hit by slapshots and now to the best blades, CCM offers unparalleled skate technology to hockey players everywhere,” added Mr. Blackshaw.
Marrouane Nabih, CFO of CCM Hockey, stated, “This strategic acquisition demonstrates our commitment to investing in innovation and providing hockey players with the best skates in the world. This is the story of two Canadian hockey leaders joining forces to build the best products to permit each player to go ALL OUT every time they Step on the ice.”
Taking it to the next level
Gilles Cloutier, President and Founder of STEP, will continue to lead its operations during the ownership transition, and will continue to work closely with CCM’s Product Creation team and Pro skate factory in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. STEP has 17 employees, all of whom will be bringing their expertise to the CCM Hockey family.
“STEP and CCM have been working together since 2016 to design the XS compatible steel blade. Joining the CCM family was the next logical step in the evolution of our collaborative relationship,” said Mr. Cloutier. “CCM shares our goals of bringing the best product to market for all athletes, especially the pro players. It will be exciting to deepen that collaboration together and drive to new performance innovations in the future for CCM. Together, we will have the opportunity to produce the most advanced skates in hockey,” added Mr. Cloutier.
Starting in 2020, all CCM pro and custom skates will include STEP blades and the expectations are to leverage the STEP product for retail models in the near future.
About STEP Skating Blades
Founded in 2000 and based in Quebec City, STEP is the world’s leading manufacturer of skate blades. STEP uses the highest quality Swedish stainless steel, making it a top choice for use in the NHL, AHL, KHL and other professional hockey leagues whose players demand the highest level of precision performance.
About CCM Hockey
CCM Hockey is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of hockey equipment and related apparel. With its headquarters located in Montreal, the company has operations in Canada, the United States and Europe. CCM Hockey equips more professional hockey players than any other company, including superstars like Connor McDavid, Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and John Tavares. CCM Hockey is also the official outfitter of the American Hockey League, the Canadian Hockey League, and several NCAA and National teams. For more info, visit: www.ccmhockey.com.