APT / SportGroup Acquires ProGrass from Rockwell

SportGroup Holding Consolidates Position in Artificial Turf Market with Pittsburgh’s ProGrass

Pittsburgh, PA, October 18, 2016 – SportGroup Holding, today announced that it has acquired Pittsburgh-based ProGrass, one of the nation’s leading brands of artificial turf. By adding ProGrass to its existing portfolio of companies and brands (which includes APT, Astroturf, Melos, Polytan, Poligras and Rekortan), SportGroup expands its North America presence and further consolidates its position as a global leader in the sport surfacing market. The acquisition will strengthen SportGroup’s proven combination of its worldwide existing contractor network and directly targeted activities to new levels for the better of the industry.prograss-acquisition

SportGroup, founded in 1969, is the world leader in artificial turf systems and running tracks, with over 1,000 employees and $375 million annual revenue (2015). The company operates in more than 70 countries, maintains production plants in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region and has manufactured and installed more than 7,000 fields and 16,000 tracks including the Olympic games and international venues.

The purchase of ProGrass, a major supplier to both amateur and professional teams, solidifies SportGroup’s direct access to the North American athletic market. As consultants and sponsors to Soccer, Football and Baseball, “The addition of the ProGrass team will bring us closer to the sport and enable us to better service the needs of our customers,” say Heard Smith and Andreas M. Schulze Ising, Managing Directors of SportGroup Americas, “by bringing the industry into a new era with our German engineered, American made, modern, environmentally friendly, tailor made sport surfacing products.”

“The synergy created by the ProGrass team joining the SportGroup family will now enable the North American Organization to provide a “One-Stop Shop” for athletic fields,” said Robert Thomas, President of ProGrass, “further enabling us to serve more venues as well as enhancing SportGroup’s design-build capabilities and go-to market strategy for North America. This is truly a ‘win-win-win’ strategy for SportGroup, ProGrass and the entire North American sports community.”

The acquisition by the SportGroup forges a team of sports surfacing companies that are focused on introducing the most cutting edge technologies. Together, the complementary brands offer more selections to clients, including:

  • More FIFA, FIH, and World Rugby-certified systems and pitches than ever before
  • Highly evolved American Football turf system selections
  • Top-tier Olympic and World Cup field hockey surfaces
  • Industry-leading baseball and softball systems
  • Legendary running track brands from APT, including Rekortan
  • Largest and most efficient installation force worldwide
  • Leading EPDM rubber manufacturing from Melos

ProGrass will expand on bringing SportGroups products to their clients, which are manufactured in the United States in fully vertically integrated, advanced manufacturing facilities. In addition, all employees will remain with the organization, providing stability for its clients.  SportGroup will honor existing and future warranties on ProGrass installations in North America.

About ProGrass:prograsslogo_green_rhino-small-cropped

For over a decade, ProGrass, a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer famous for its nationally known “Rocky” Mascot, has provided America’s finest synthetic turf solutions for every level of performance demands through innovative product development, design-build services, project management, construction, installation and proactive maintenance. The company has built its success on the principles of Excellence, exceeding industry standards, Professionalism, committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and Teamwork, valuing all of our employee’s talents, skills and abilities. To learn more, visit www.prograssturf.com.

About SportGroup: sportgroup_logo-small-cropped

SportGroup is a global market leader of outdoor sport and recreational surface systems. SportGroup installs artificial turf fields and tracks and manufactures all system critical components in-house. SportGroup has three main product groups (artificial turf, tracks and playground) used in a variety of applications. The business benefits from its unique system competence, leading technology and a strong market position, especially in Germany. For more information, visit www.sportgroup-holding.com.

Judge Approves Astro Turf Sale

Stech, Katy (2016, August 15) Judge Approves $16 Million Astro Turf Sale. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/

All Brand Logo - AstroTurf APT

Judge Approves $16 Million AstroTurf Sale

Competitor APT Advanced Polymer Technology cleared to take over AstroTurf’s Georgia-based marketing operations

A bankruptcy judge has cleared a competitor of AstroTurf LLC to take over its Georgia-based marketing operations, which struggled after the company lost a $30 million patent dispute last year.

With his signature, Judge Paul Bonapfel approved the roughly $16.1 million sale agreement between AstroTurf and an affiliate of APT Advanced Polymer Technology Corp., a competitor based outside of Pittsburgh.

AstroTurf lawyers proposed to sell the Dalton, Ga., company, which markets and sells artificial turf products to university athletic departments and sports facilities, after putting its operations into chapter 11 protection on June 28.

The filing halted its legal battle with another competitor, FieldTurf USA Inc. FieldTurf officials accused AstroTurf of infringing on its patent for artificial turf products in a 2010 federal lawsuit. In October, a jury awarded $30 million in damages to FieldTurf.

“The patent litigation and adverse publicity regarding the verdict have caused substantial disruption to the business,” AstroTurf lawyers said in earlier documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Rome, Ga. “FieldTurf and [AstroTurf] compete almost daily for customers and new business, and the [company] believes that FieldTurf is using the patent litigation to deter potential customers from entering into contracts…for the purchase and installation of synthetic turf surfaces.”

The court-approved sale is part of a broader, $92.5 million deal that enables APT Advanced Polymer Technology to take over three AstroTurf-related businesses that haven’t filed for bankruptcy protection. That includes its research and development division and Synthetic Turf Resources, which manufactures the athletic turf.

The four businesses are owned by Textile Management Associates Inc., which holds a majority stake.

In court papers, AstroTurf called itself a “leading innovator” in the industry for synthetic turf, which was invented in 1964. Founded in 2003, AstroTurf became popular through sponsorship agreements it made with athletic conferences and sports organizations, enabling the company to pay an annual fee in exchange for the exposure.

AstroTurf officials said it relies on a network of sales people and distributors who negotiate the exclusive rights to sell AstroTurf products in a geographic area. AstroTurf itself employed 54 people at the time of the filing.

*The full article is available at http://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-approves-16-million-astroturf-sale-1471286131

 

AstroTurf and SYNLawn Brands Join APT and SportGroup

Sport Group & AstroTurf Header

APT Advanced Polymer Technology’s business as a member of SportGroup® has some exciting news:

After a period of remarkable growth, the time has come for the next chapter in the history of the SportGroup®, and indeed of the sports surfacing industry.  In order to complete the line-up of products and systems, the AstroTurf® and SYNLawn® brands will join the SportGroup. We will be able to truly support American clients as a full service provider of sport and recreation turf.

I have been employed with the SportGroup® since 2009, having had the privilege of serving as President and Chief Operating Officer of APT Advanced Polymer Technology Corp. in Harmony, Pennsylvania.  Over the last several years, I have witnessed an unparalleled growth in the sport surfacing market, especially the athletic sport turf and landscape turf segments. It has been extremely gratifying to see the hard work of our and AstroTurf’s sales, installation and R&D teams pay off and to be able to finally join forces to become the quality leader in America.

This acquisition comes at the right time and will create one of the largest outdoor sports surfacing companies in the world. Not only that, it forges a team of dedicated sports surfacing brands that is focused on introducing the most cutting edge technologies.  Together, the complementary brands offer more selections to clients, including:

  • More FIFA, FIH, and World Rugby-certified systems and pitches than ever beforeAll Brand Logo - AstroTurf APT
  • Highly evolved American Football turf systems selections
  • Top-tier Olympic and World Cup field hockey surfaces
  • Industry-leading baseball and softball systems
  • More RootZone® products and installations than any other provider on the market
  • Legendary running track brands from APT Advanced Polymer Technology (APT), including Rekortan®
  • Largest and most efficient installation force worldwide
  • Leading EPDM rubber manufacturing from Melos®
  • Leading tennis court surface systems from APT, including Laykold®
  • Most advanced “green” technologies from APT, including TuftGuard® and Qualipur® adhesives

SportGroup, founded in 1969, is a global leader in artificial turf systems and running tracks, with a >€340 million annual turnover (2015) and around 1,000 employees. The company maintains production plants in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region and operates in more than 70 countries. It has manufactured and installed more than 7,000 fields and 16,000 tracks. It is a supplier of both fields and tracks to the Olympic Games. Its leading core companies include Polytan®, APT®, Melos®, with brands like Rekortan®, Spurtan®, GridIron®, LigaTurf®, Supergrasse®, Poligras®, Dynapoint® and Laykold®.

The union of these global brands will usher in the next era of sophisticated sports surfacing for today’s highly trained athletes.

We look forward to all this partnership has in store! As always, our sales reps across the country and our team in Harmony, Pennsylvania and the new team in Dalton, Georgia, are available to answer any questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact your regional representative or Sydney Stahlbaum at 512-423-5164/ sstahlbaum@astroturf.com for more information.

Sincerely,

Andreas M. Schulze Ising

President/CEO

Sport Group & AstroTurf Footer