Under Armour seeks private investors to further growth

A Baltimore firm with its sights on ringing in more than $120 million in sales in 2004 is looking for outside investors to fund its rapid growth.
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A Baltimore firm with its sights on ringing in more than $120 million in sales in 2004 is looking for outside investors to fund its rapid growth. Under Armour Performance Apparel, which designs and manufactures undergarments and sportswear for professional and recreational athletes, is searching for an undisclosed amount of cash -- either from a venture capital firm or from individual investors. A likely investment deal would be a private placement, according to financial experts. This type of deal involves a collection of investors paying cash for specific amounts of the company. "We are exploring several financing options now," said Scott Plank, vice president of the firm. An equity investment in the firm would be the first time Under Armour has sold partial ownership to outside investors. Financial experts believe the cash is needed to fund the company's growth and help it compete against some major sporting goods companies. So far the apparel has been for men, but a women's line is planned for 2003. Under Armour (www.underarmour.com) is on course to ring up more than $60 million in sales this year, and CEO Kevin Plank said revenue should more than double by next year. The company started in 1996 with sales of $13,000.

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