US investors buy Yorkshire-based skate blade manufacturer

HD Sports, which makes skate blades used by Olympic medallists, has been bought by an American investment group.
HD Sports, which makes skate blades used by Olympic medallists, has been bought by an American investment group.
0
Have your say

A US-based private investor group has acquired Sheffield based HD Sports, one of the world’s biggest figure skate blade manufacturers, for a significant undisclosed sum.

The investor group of Robert Donahoe and Paul Harrity, which is based in Boston, has businesses involved in manufacturing, retail and distribution. For the past three years, operating as HD Sports NA, they have been the exclusive distributor of MK and John Wilson ice skate blades in North America. The new owner plans to keep all the manufacturing, research and development staff in Sheffield.

Mr Donahoe said: “Having been engaged in many corporate transactions in the US, this was the first one for myself and fellow principal Paul Harrity in the UK.”

HD Sports, which can trace its South Yorkshire roots back to the 17th century, is based in Rutland Way, Sheffield. It crafted blades for every medallist at the Winter Olympics in Sochi this year.

Legal advice for the US investment team was provided by a team led by Philip Ashworth, a partner with niche corporate and commercial law firm Walkers in York.

Mr Ashworth said: “HD Sports is one of Sheffield’s great success stories and this significant deal with its foreign investment will take the company to another level. The synergy is perfect. This was a tremendous transaction in which to be involved and I now look forward to seeing HD Sports going from strength to strength under new ownership.”

Financial due diligence and accounting advice for the US investment team was provided by JWP Creers. A legal team from Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield, led by Matt Ainsworth, advised the shareholders of HD Sports.