CALGARY, ALBERTA-- The Forzani Group Ltd. (TSX:FGL; "FGL" or the "Company"), Canada's largest retailer of sporting goods, announced today the acquisition of Sports International CSTS Inc. ("Sportsphere"), trading as Sportsphere, a small private company located in Toronto, Ontario.
A family business operated by the husband and wife team of Jeff and Connie Stephen, Sportsphere is a supplier of uniforms to soccer, hockey, lacrosse, rugby, baseball, basketball and volleyball teams across Canada. With annual sales of less than $10 million, Sportsphere prides itself on customer service and has earned a reputation in the industry for providing top quality and innovative products and designs.
"We are delighted by this acquisition and are pleased to welcome all Sportsphere employees to FGL," said Bob Sartor, Chief Executive Officer of FGL. He went on to state that, "One of the three pillars of our strategic plan, announced in 2009, was to expand our customer reach. The Sportsphere acquisition fits well with our stated strategy as we enter a new business and position ourselves to become a leading supplier of team sports uniforms in Canada."
Mr. Sartor added, "We will grow this business by broadening our product offering including hardgoods and accessories, investing in a sales force to service all key markets within Canada and leveraging our stores, marketing initiatives and on-line presence to better connect with these customers. We view this industry as highly fragmented with great opportunity for consolidation and ultimately elevating the shopping experience for all our customers including sports teams and associations."
The Sportsphere acquisition is expected to close on or about the 27th of February, 2011 and is subject to a number of customary closing conditions.
This press release contains certain statements that may constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. This forward-looking information relates to, among other things: (i) the positioning of ourselves as a leading supplier of teams sports uniforms; (ii) our expectations with respect to the growth and consolidation of the team uniform business; and (iii) our expectations as to the closing of the acquisition of Sportsphere.
Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of such words as "may", "will", "expect", "believe", "plan", "intend", "estimate", "outlook", "forecast", "should", "anticipate" and other similar terminology, including statements concerning possible or assumed future results. Forward-looking information is based on management's reasonable assumptions, analysis and estimates in respect of its experience and perception of trends, current economic conditions and expected developments, as well as other material factors that it considers to be relevant at the time of making such statements.
By its nature, forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which give rise to the possibility that management's assumptions, analysis and estimates will be incorrect and that the Company's anticipated results will not be achieved. Although the Company believes that the statements with respect to forward-looking information are reasonable and current, such statements should not be interpreted as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be an accurate indication of whether or not such results will be achieved. Forward-looking information is necessarily subject to a number of factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those results implied by the expectations suggested by such information. Those factors include, without limitation, the following:
-- our ability to attract and retain additional salespeople for the
-- our ability to acquire additional businesses in the team uniform
-- our ability to retain the employees of Sportsphere; and
-- the emergence of new competitors in the market.
When relying on the forward-looking information to make decisions with respect to the Company, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors, although we strongly caution that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive and other factors could adversely affect our performance. Investors and other readers are encouraged to consider the foregoing risks and other factors carefully when evaluating the forward-looking information and are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon such information when making investment decisions. The forward-looking information in this press release is current to the date hereof, and is subject to change following such date. While the Company may elect to do so, unless required by applicable law, it undertakes no obligation to update this information to reflect new information or circumstances at any particular time.
The Forzani Group Ltd. is Canada's largest national retailer of sporting goods, offering a comprehensive assortment of brand-name and private-brand products, operating stores from coast to coast, under the following corporate and franchise banners: Sport Chek, Sport Mart, National Sports, Athletes World, Sports Experts, Intersport, Atmosphere, Tech Shop, Nevada Bob's Golf, Hockey Experts, S3 and The Fitness Source. The Company also has websites for several of its corporate and franchise banners which can be accessed through its main website at www.forzanigroup.com.