NEW YORK - Buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy a majority stake in Academy Sports + Outdoors, a privately held sporting goods retailer with locations throughout the Southeast.
Academy has two stores in Baton Rouge, one in Lafayette and will open a store in Hammond on June 17.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Academy Sports’ president, Rodney Faldyn, will continue as president and assume the CEO job from David Gochman, who is the grandson of its founder. The Gochman family will keep a minority stake in Academy Sports. Gochman has been CEO since 1996. Faldyn became president in 2007.
In a statement, Faldyn said the ownership change will speed up the retailer’s continued growth and give it greater flexibility to achieve ‘strategic goals,’though he didn’t give details.
The company’s revenue has grown to $2.7 billion last year from about $1 billion in 2004. This year, it started selling its merchandise online.
Academy Sports is headquartered in Katy, Texas, outside Houston. It has 131 locations in 11 states throughout the Southeast, and has about 16,000 employees.
KKR, whose takeover of RJR Nabisco was chronicled in the book ‘Barbarians at the Gate,’described itself as a long-term investor in Academy Sports. It has previously invested in other retailers including mattress company Sealy Corp., Dollar General Corp. and Toys R Us. In the past month, KKR or its subsidiaries have bought or announced plans to buy a market data company; a telecommunications company in Germany; and oil and gas properties in Texas.
KKR started trading on the New York Stock Exchange last year. Earlier this month it reported that first-quarter net income rose 40 percent to $160 million, as its fee revenue more than doubled.