Prince reaches deal with new ‘Prince Americas’

June 22, 2012

The operating assets of Prince Sports, including exclusive rights to the Prince, Ektelon and Viking brands in North America, have been acquired by the newly formed Active Brands Co. and its new wholly owned subsidiary, Prince Americas.

Prince Americas will exclusively operate and manage the production and distribution of all products and services associated with Prince, Ektelon and Viking in North America, Latin America and South America through the existing Prince Sports facility located in Bordentown, N.J. The term of the agreement is for 10 years with three renewal options. A statement from Prince Sports says the company anticipates entering into license agreements covering Europe, Asia, Australia and other areas in the near future.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved the license agreement with Prince Americas on June 19, then followed that with approval of the Disclosure Statement for the company’s Plan of Reorganization. The Court’s rulings were a result of an agreement reached between Prince Sports, its secured lender ABG Prince (which is owned by Authentic Brands Group) and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.

“The agreement with our major creditors on the key terms of a Plan of Reorganization and their joint support for the license agreement with Prince Americas is a major step toward Prince’s emergence from Chapter 11,” said Prince Sports’ CEO Gordon Boggis. “Given the support of our major creditors, we are confident that with Prince Americas we will return to normal order levels with our suppliers and our customers, getting our business and our world-class brands back on track.”

Boggis also noted that he “was pleased with the support of the Prince brand expressed by the company’s suppliers through these negotiations and was looking toward an excellent working relationship as Prince emerges from bankruptcy and transitions in the coming months.”

Active Brands Co. was formed by the principals of two Omaha-based companies, Battle Sports Science and Waitt Co. Battle Sports Science was formed in 2009 and previously had focused on safety equipment for sports such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey. Waitt Co. is a diversified investment company that is now a majority owner.

Active Brands is now the umbrella company for both Prince Americas and Battle Sports Science. The co-founder of Battle Sports, Chris Circo, is now the CEO of Active Brands.

“This is a very significant event in the growth of our company, as the Prince, Ektelon, and Viking brands are prominent and highly regarded properties with tremendous potential for growth,” said Circo. “We are excited to grow our relationships with our retail and manufacturing partners as we look to deepen and expand the Prince, Ektelon and Viking brands through delivering quality products, accessories and service.”

The Prince Sports statement said the revised and expanded agreement with Prince Americas is a major step in Prince Sports’ conversion from an operating company to an intellectual property licensing company.