Baton Rouge baseball bat manufacturer Marucci Sports LLC is being acquired for $200 million by a Connecticut-based investment fund with a goal of penetrating new markets and increasing the brand’s presence internationally. 

Marucci has 230 employees and its headquarters will remain in Baton Rouge. It also has a location in Lafayette. 

Compass Diversified Holdings, a publicly traded trust that operates like a private equity investment fund, is adding Marucci to its portfolio of mostly niche businesses.

“Leveraging CODI’s deep sector expertise and proven track record of building businesses for the long term, as well as Marucci’s loyal brand following, we believe the company is poised for continued success in the sports equipment space," said Elias Sabo, chief executive officer of Compass Group Diversified Holdings LLC.

The bat company has grown to about $15 million in annual adjusted earnings in December 2019, before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — a common business metric. 

Marucci’s product portfolio has grown to include wood and metal bats, sports apparel and accessories, batting and fielding gloves, and bags and protective gear.

Marucci Sports LLC was founded in 2009 by former professional baseball players Kurt Ainsworth and Joe Lawrence and an assistant White House Press Secretary, Reed Dickens. Its first acquisition was Marucci Bat Co., launched by LSU Athletic Trainer Jack Marucci in a backyard shed in 2004.

Ainsworth, who has served as CEO of Marucci Sports since 2014, is expected to continue in his role as are the current executives after the deal closes in about 45 days. 

“When we launched Marucci Sports, our goal was to offer all players, regardless of age or level, big-league quality products that they wanted and needed to be successful,” Ainsworth said. “This partnership with CODI represents the beginning of a long-term relationship that recognizes the tremendous efforts and hard work of the Marucci team and demonstrates the high growth potential of our impressive suite of products." 

In 2017, Marucci acquired Pennsylvania-based custom wood bat competitor Victus Sports for an undisclosed price. Marucci and Victus promote themselves as the top two most-used bats among Big League players.

Editor's note: This story was changed on March 10, 2020, to clarify the founding of Marucci Sports LLC and Marucci Bat Co. 

Baton Rouge's Marucci Sports buys up-and-coming 'Big League' bat maker in Pennsylvania

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