10/10/2012 10:06 EDT | Updated 12/10/2012 05:12 EST

Bauer to buy uniform firm Inaria for $7M

Sports equipment company Bauer Performance Sports Ltd. said Wednesday that it has signed a deal to buy team uniform maker Inaria International for $7 million.

"The acquisition will allow us to enter the large and growing uniform market, where we did not have the capabilities to compete previously," said Bauer CEO Kevin Davis.

"This is an exciting opportunity for us as it will enable us to become a one-stop-shop for our retail partners around the world who will be able to rely solely on BAUER for their complete equipment and team apparel needs for both ice hockey and lacrosse."

Toronto-based Bauer developed the first one-piece, blade-and-boot hockey skate and pioneered the lightweight Tuuk blade.

The 83-year-old firm produces gear used by a host of National Hockey League superstars including Steve Stamkos, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and its skates were once endorsed by hockey legend Bobby Hull.

Bauer designs, manufacturers and markets sports equipment and clothing under the brands Bauer Hockey, Mission Roller Hockey and Maverik Lacrosse.

While it's best known for its sticks and skates, Bauer makes a full range of gear from pads to helmets to pants.

The iconic hockey brand was founded in Kitchener, Ont., in 1927, and developed the first skate with a blade permanently attached to a boot, forever changing the game of hockey.

Bauer focused on skates until 1990, when it acquired the hockey assets of another Canadian hockey icon, equipment maker Cooper Canada Ltd.

In 1995, Bauer was bought by Nike Inc. for $430 million. Then in 2008, Nike sold the company for $200 million to U.S.-based private equity firm Kohlberg & Co. and Roustan Capital, a firm owned by Quebec-born businessman Graeme Roustan, who has been involved in hockey for decades.