Rawlings, the St. Louis-based sports equipment manufacturer, may soon have a new owner.
Rawlings’ owner, New Jersey-based Newell Brands, announced plans Thursday to shed assets and concentrate on non-core consumer divisions. Rawlings is among the group of companies it is “exploring strategic options for,” the company said in a statement.
Newell, which owns Rubbermaid, Sharpie markers and other brands, acquired Rawlings’ former parent company, Jarden, in 2016.
Founded in St. Louis in 1887, Rawlings was sold to Jarden in 2007. Rawlings makes sporting equipment including baseball gloves and softball bats. It ended production of football helmets and football shoulder pads in 2015.
Rawlings previously made some custom baseball gloves at its plant in Washington, but no longer makes any baseball gloves in the United States. The factory remains open and employs about 172 workers.
Rawlings is the official baseball supplier and official helmet of Major League Baseball, the official baseball for the NCAA and the official uniform provider of USA Football and Team USA, according to the company.
It’s also the official football and basketball for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. And it’s the official basketball of the National Junior College Athletic Association and the Amateur Athletic Union, as well as the approved baseball, basketball, football and softball of the National High School Federation, Rawlings said.
Rawlings on Thursday confirmed it employed about 150 people in the St. Louis area and 1,200 globally.
Newell’s stock fell more than 21 percent after it made the announcement and cut its forecast for 2018. Newell also announced that Ian G.H. Ashken, Domenico De Sole and Martin E. Franklin resigned from the company’s board of directors.
“Today’s announcement is a step toward a significant acceleration in our transformation plan,” Michael Polk, Newell Brands’ CEO, said in a statement.
“We believe that exiting nonstrategic assets, reducing complexity and focusing on our key consumer-focused brands will make us more effective at unlocking value and responding to the fast-changing retail environment,” Polk continued. “A stronger, simpler, faster Newell, together with leading brands, brilliant marketing, outstanding innovation and an advantaged e-commerce capability, better positions us to win in these dynamic times. As a result, we have chosen to explore these strategic options.”