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APT expands with Astroturf and Sportgrass acquisitions
Aiming to build one of the largest and highest quality outdoor sports surfacing companies in the world, global surfacing and coatings manufacturer APT Advanced Polymer Technology/SportGroup Holdings has continued its expansion with two significant acquisitions, taking on AstroTurf LLC in North America and Sportgrass Pty Ltd in Australia.
In the USA, a bankruptcy judge cleared APT/SportGroup to take over AstroTurf’s marketing operations, for a sale price of roughly US$16.1 million.
Historically the most recognisable brand name in artificial turf, AstroTurf had been in difficulty after losing a patent infringement for its artificial turf products to rival FieldTurf USA Inc. In October last year, a jury awarded US$30 million in damages to FieldTurf which led AstroTurf to put its operations into chapter 11 protection on 28th June.
The court-approved sale was part of a broader, US$92.5 million deal that enables APT Advanced Polymer Technology to take over three AstroTurf-related businesses that had not filed for bankruptcy protection. That includes its research and development division and Synthetic Turf Resources, which manufactures the artificial turf.
The acquisition will see APT/SportGroup retain all AstroTurf’s technologies, processes, products, intellectual property, and personnel.
Explaining that adding AstroTurf to the portfolio of SportGroup brands and companies brings greater stability to sports facilities and the industry as a whole, Andreas M. Schulze Ising, Chief Executive and President of APT Advanced Polymer Technology Corp, stated “we are welcoming AstroTurf to our team ... to create the only all encompassing sport systems company in the world to finally service each and every sport with the complete range of surface solutions.”
In Australia, APT Asia Pacific has bought local manufacturer Sportgrass – best known for synthetic grass surfaces for tennis, cricket, bowls and multipurpose courts along with NeatgrassTM synthetic grass for landscaping.
John Skase, Managing Director of Sportgrass is staying on and it will be ‘business as usual’ during the transition planning phase of the merger of facilities with APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd.
Commenting on the Sportgrass acquisition, APT Asia Pacific Chief Executive Stephen Niven advised “this strategic acquisition of Sportgrass continues our recognition for market consolidation in Australia and complements APT’s existing product portfolio.
“We are looking forward to John’s continued involvement working closely with our management team.”
Skase added “we’re excited to become part of the SportGroup.
“Having access to state-of-the-art products and materials has always been the forefront of the Sportgrass philosophy and I am pleased to see this will continue, allowing us to retain a unique market position offering tailor-made solutions.”
Founded in 1969, SportGroup is a global leader in artificial turf systems and running tracks, with a US$450 million annual turnover (2015) and around 1,000 employees.
With renowned brands including Polytan®, APT®, Melos®, TEAM Sports, Rekortan®, Laykold®, and Poligras®, the company maintains production plants in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region and operates in more than 70 countries.
It has manufactured and installed more than 7,000 fields and 16,000 tracks.
In 2014, the SportGroup purchased Sydney-based Team Sports.
Click here to contact APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.
Images: An AstroTurf artificial field in use in the Morro da Mineira favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (top, courtesy of Shell) and a selection of the SportsGroup's brands (below).
8th April 2016 - POLYTAN TO SUPPLY WORLD CUP AND OLYMPIC HOCKEY TURF
22nd January 2016 - FIH ANNOUNCES SEVEN OFFICIAL SUPPLIERS AS PART OF GLOBAL TURF QUALITY PROGRAM
12th July 2014 - POLYTAN OWNER THE SPORT GROUP ACQUIRES TEAM SPORTS
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