The Wall Street Journal: MLB teams with private investment firm to buy Rawlings, the maker of baseballs


Rawlings, a more than century-old company that produces the official ball and helmet of Major League Baseball, will be changing hands in a $395 million deal that adds the professional league as a key investor.

Under the terms of the deal announced Tuesday, consumer-goods conglomerate Newell Brands Inc. NWL, +1.55%   is selling the St. Louis sporting-goods maker to Seidler Equity Partners, a California-based private investment firm, and MLB.

Read: MLB study finds baseballs aren’t juiced, but they are more aerodynamic

“This is a really powerhouse combination,” said Mike Thompson, executive vice president of marketing for Rawlings, which also owns the Miken and Worth brands. “They see the power of the brand.”

The deal gives MLB a chance to provide “even more input and direction on the production” of the league’s official ball, said Chris Marinak, MLB’s executive vice president for strategy, technology and innovation.

An expanded version of this report appears on


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