Performance Sports Rejects Ex-Chairman's Efforts to Oust CEO

  • Board says it supports Davis and retail strategy of company
  • Ex-chairman says will continue to push for 'positive change'

Performance Sports Group Ltd. has rejected a call from its former chairman to oust Chief Executive Officer Kevin Davis, as its share price continued to tumble Wednesday.

The company also said in a statement it hadn’t received any proposal or communication about a potential bid. Former Chairman W. Graeme Roustan said last week he was prepared to start a proxy contest or takeover effort.

“The board of directors unanimously supports CEO Kevin Davis, the entire management team and the overall strategic direction of the company,” Performance Sports said in the statement.

Shares in the Exeter, New Hampshire-based company have fallen more than 60 percent over the past 12 months, as the weak Canadian dollar dragged on its sales in that country and after it decided to start a group of standalone stores. They fell 4.7 percent to $7.11 a share in New York Wednesday, the lowest point since February 2012.

Performance Sports, formerly known as Bauer Performance Sports Ltd., manufactures equipment for ice hockey, baseball, soccer, and other sports, including under the Bauer and Easton brands. It announced Wednesday it acquired Easton Hockey to add to its stable.

The comments from the company come after its former chair Roustan called on the board to oust Davis as CEO and urged the company to change its retail strategy.

“I will continue to press for positive changes at Performance Sports Group that will enhance shareholder value and keep all of my options open,” Roustan said in an e-mail Wednesday.

Roustan, who said he owns more than 1.4 percent of the company, said last week in an interview he may start a proxy battle or takeover of Performance Sports if the board fails to oust Davis and change it course.

Roustan has said he has concerns about Performance Sports’s strategy to open its own standalone stores. He said he believes the move will put the company in competition with its customers at major retailers, including Canadian Tire.

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