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Bat maker Spartan Sports bowls maiden IPO pitch | Cricket Bats | Cricket Bat News

There are plenty of fund managers who would claim to know a thing or two about cricket bats and balls – and now that knowledge can be put to the test. 

Street Talk understands David Warner’s new batmaker, Spartan Sports, is lining up for an initial public offering in coming months, which would be a first for cricket equipment makers in Australia or offshore. 

Spartan is expected to come to market with forecast $60 million or so in sales for 2019, and an expected $10.7 million in earnings before interest and tax. Its owners are said to be considering an IPO among a handful of options, and could be ready for the ASX boards as early as this year. 

Sources said the IPO plans were revealed to a handful of fundies and high net worth investors in the past fortnight, who heard the pitch straight from Spartan management’s mouths.

Spartan’s maiden offering was a $3 million pre-IPO funding round, structured by way of convertible notes. The notes would convert into ordinary equity at a discount, should the company make its way to the ASX-boards as planned. 

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It is understood Spartan has already ruled off the pre-IPO raising, and will use the funds to buy wood for Warner and co’s next crop of bats, buy stock for sale in Australian and offshore stores, and set up operations in the UK. 

The raising is designed to coincide with its push into offshore markets, having recently secured a distribution agreement with e commerce platforms Amazon and Flipkart. 

Cricket was at the heart of the pitch. Spartan moved into cricket in 2011, and quickly signed then Australian captain Michael Clarke to a bat deal to claim its slice of Australia’s national game. It makes bats, pads and gloves, is moving into cricket balls, and markets itself by signing “ambassadors” like Warner, Chris Gayle, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni. 

The company’s roots, though, trace back to 1953 as a specialist manufacturer of inflatable ball products – footballs, soccer balls, netballs and the like. It is now owned by a bunch of private investors, including Kunal Sharma who founded Spartan Sports in NSW in 1998. 

Should Spartan make it to IPO as planned, there’s expected to be plenty of interest in its site tours. It’s easy to imagine fundies heading to the Sydney Cricket Ground or Melbourne Cricket Ground nets to try out Warner or Gayle’s latest bat. 

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