Baseball equipment company Marucci Sports today announced the acquisition of Lizard Skins, a manufacturer of grip tape used in baseball, hockey and other sports, as part of a bid to expand its position in the industry and test the waters in new markets. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. However, according to people familiar with the matter, the deal is worth nearly $50 million.
Since being founded by former major leaguer Kurt Ainsworth and a pair of partners in 2004, Marucci Sports has grown into a baseball-bat powerhouse. More than 25% of MLB players used Marucci bats on opening day this year, according to Bat Digest, the single highest share of any brand. Another 15% used Victus, a subsidiary of Marucci that the company acquired in 2017. That type of dominance is part of what led investment holding company Compass Diversified to purchase Marucci for $200 million in April 2020. Albert Pujols, Buster Posey, David Ortiz and several other active and retired MLB stars previously invested in Marucci, although the company would not disclose who is still actively involved. (Both brands are also featured as equip-able apparel in Sony Interactive’s MLB The Show video game franchise.)
But the major leagues are just a small fraction of Marucci’s business; Ainsworth says MLB accounts for “probably less than 2% overall sales.” Marucci posted a profit of $28 million on $99 million in revenue for the trailing 12 months ending on June 30. In addition to producing wood and aluminum bats from T-ball all the way to the pros, Marucci makes uniforms, batting gloves, bags and “pretty much everything right