Wilson sells platform tennis ball business to Viking; ball market too small
April 1, 2000 – Wilson Racquet Sports announced the sale of its platform tennis ball business to Viking Athletics (Lindenhurst, NY), the market leader in platform tennis balls, effective immediately. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Viking owner David Kjeldsen came to us with an offer we felt was fair and reasonable for us to exit this aspect of the business,” said John Embree, Vice President/General Manager, Wilson Racquet Sports. “Because the market is so small, it probably makes sense to only have one supplier of balls. Therefore, we came to a mutually beneficial understanding.”
While Wilson Racquet Sports was no longer in the platform tennis ball business, it continued to market its platform tennis paddles and accessories.
Source: Platform Tennis Magazine, Issue 5, May, 2000
Note: Wilson had decided to exit the ball business in 1999. The purchase and sale agreement included a 5-year noncompete clause and Wilson subsequently re-entered the market in 2007 when they believed the market had gown to a point where additional competition could be accommodated.