Sports Authority, Gart Merger Creates $2.5B Retailer

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The Sports Authority Inc. and Gart Sports Co. announced yesterday that their boards of directors unanimously approved a merger agreement. The combined company will be named The Sports Authority Inc. and be based in Englewood, CO.

The companies expect the transaction to be completed in the third quarter.

The Sports Authority is the nation's largest sporting goods retailer with 205 stores in 33 states. Gart has 180 stores mostly in the Western United States. Combined, they have stores in 45 states and recorded 2002 pro forma sales of $2.5 billion. The Sports Authority also has a catalog operation, and both companies have e-commerce Web sites.

Sports Authority stockholders will receive 0.37 shares of Gart Sports common stock for each share of Sports Authority common stock they own. Stockholders of Gart Sports and Sports Authority each will own about 50 percent of the combined company.

Martin E. Hanaka, Sports Authority's chairman/CEO, will serve as chairman of the board of the combined company. John Douglas Morton, president/CEO of Gart Sports, will become vice chairman/CEO.


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