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Tennis racquet maker files for bankruptcy

Prince cites financial crisis among reasons for its decline

Prince Sports Inc., pioneer of the infamous oversized tennis racquet, has filed for Chapter 11 protection. The company blames its bankruptcy on several factors, including increased competition, mounting debt and the financial crisis.

In the past 10 years, Prince has had several owners, most recently Nautic Partners and before that, Lincolnshire Management Inc. According to its bankruptcy filing, the company tried to sell rights to its brand in China in 2010 but did not receive any acceptable offers. Late last year, it initiated another sale process, and although it had three parties that were interested, no deal materialized because the investors would have paid much less than the company held in existing debt.

Prince reports its assets to be between $50 million and $100 million. However, the company says it owes $65 million in secured debt to Authentic Brands Group (ABG)-Prince LLC and another $10.2 million to various other vendors.

Prince filed for bankruptcy yesterday, after reaching a deal with ABG to acquire the struggling company.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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