Los Angeles Business Journal

Sport Chalet Tender Offer Prolonged

By Business Journal Staff Monday, August 4, 2014

Sport Chalet Inc. shareholders received a deadline extension until midnight Aug. 15 to approve the sale of the sporting goods retailer at the highest price being offered by a Connecticut sporting goods company.

Vestis Retail Group LLC, in Meriden, which owns the Eastern Mountain Sports and Bob’s Sports chains, announced early last month it will acquire the La Canada sporting goods chain for $70 million, include the assumption of $52.5 million in debt.

Originally, shareholders had a Friday night deadline to approve the sale of the company for $1.20 a share. However, 90 percent of both Class A and Class B shareholders needed to approve the sale, a threshold that was not met.

The company announced that about 93.5 percent of Class A family shares and 84.49 percent of outstanding Class B shares approved the sale, including the more than 50 percent owned by senior management and the family of the late founder Norbert Olberz.

Vestis deferred its right to decrease the acquisition price to $1.04 per share after the Friday deadline passed, but can drop the price later if the new Aug. 15 deadline is missed.

Alex Cappello, chief executive of Santa Monica investment firm Cappello Global LLC, which handled the transaction, said it is typical for public companies to extend deadlines for a tender offer.

“They’re already sitting there with over half of the shares already. It’s tough to get to 90 percent even if the majority is owned by family,” Cappello said. “With any company, shareholders die, move, get divorced.”

Craig Levra, Sport Chalet’s chief executive and chairman, will continue in his current position and Sport Chalet will continue to operate from its La Canada Flintridge headquarters.

Vestis, which is owned by funds advised by Versa Capital Management LLC, said that the three sporting goods companies would have had $800 million in combined sales last year.

Class A shares rose 8.7 percent and Class B shares 3.1 percent, with both closing at $1.19 on the Nasdaq.