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Prince Sports files for bankruptcy

May 8th, 2012
Zoe Sophos
Tennis racket and ball on hard court

Prince Sports, Inc., the company that made the oversize racket a sensation in the 1970’s, and its U.S. affiliates have filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 reorganization, according to a company statement released on May 1. The proposed restructuring will give Prince a shot at developing a more competitive business model and relieving a debt burden of over $60 million.

“The Board of Directors and the senior management team firmly believe that the Chapter 11 filing is not only a necessary step but also the right thing to do to ensure a secure future for Prince,” said Gordon Boggis, president and chief executive of Prince Sports, Inc. “We anticipate to emerge from this period as a more efficient, performance racquet sports brand with a more competitive model in the market, while eliminating the economic constraints that have prohibited the brand from achieving its potential.”

Since its inception in 1970 as a manufacturer of ball machines, Prince has developed multifilament strings, “Natural Foot Shape” tennis shoes, and the oversize tennis racket, according to The company has sponsored athletes including Maria Sharapova, Nikolay Davydenko, Jennifer Capriati, Patrick Rafter, Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova.