Northern Tool adding a pair of retailers

  • Article by: PATRICK KENNEDY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 8, 2012 - 9:51 PM

Sportsman's Guide, Golf Warehouse to be bought from French firm for $215M.

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The entrance to Northern Tool & Equipment in Burnsville.

Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

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Northern Tool + Equipment, the Burnsville-based retailer of tools, generators, tarps and trailers, announced Thursday it has agreed to pay $215 million to acquire retailers the Sportsman's Guide and the Golf Warehouse.

The deal would ratchet up Northern Tool + Equipment into a company with nearly $1.5 billion in sales, the company said in a news release.

The Sportsman's Guide and the Golf Warehouse are owned by Redcats USA, a division of the French company PPR. The Paris-based retail giant has annual sales of $17 billion and sells consumer and household products, sporting goods, personal computers and lingerie.

According to a report by Morningstar, the sale is part of PPR's long-term strategy to focus on luxury goods, including designer brands such as Gucci, Yves St. Laurent and Stella McCartney. Last month, PPR indicated a sale of its Redcats business was in the works.

South St. Paul-based Sportsman's Guide, with about 600 employees, sells outdoor goods through catalogs and its websites, including SportsmansGuide.com, BoatingSavings.com and WorkWearSavings.com. The Golf Warehouse is a Wichita, Kan.-based online golf equipment retailer. Both companies will operate as stand-alone brands for Northern Tool, and no job cuts are expected in South St. Paul or Wichita.

Mail, Internet, retail stores

Northern Tool, which has been owned by the Kotula family for 30 years, sells products through mail, the Internet and through 80 retail locations in 16 states.

All the companies share a common target customer. Chuck Albrecht, president of Northern Tool + Equipment, said the deal will create synergies for the company. "We were drawn to both companies being family-run institutions with strong management. We look forward to building an even brighter future together," Albrecht said in the company's news release.

Houlihan Lokey advised Northern Tool on the acquisition process. J.P. Morgan Securities is arranging the financing for the transaction.

Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926

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