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ABG LLC acquires TapouT and Silver Star MMA apparel

MMA apparel companies TapouT and Silver Star Casting Company are now under new ownership.

The North-American based Authentic Brands Group LLC, which dubs itself as an “athletic-lifestyle brand,” today announced the acquisition of the leading MMA companies.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

ABG officials say they are a global brand-building company in apparel, action sports, consumer electronics, and home and celebrity brands. TapouT and Silver Star will help the company’s continued move into the MMA market.

“This sport is still in its infancy,” ABG chairman and CEO Jamie Salter stated. “We strategically chose these acquisitions as our first big move because we’re getting into the right business at the right time. We’re looking forward to working with the best brands and the best athletes in the world as we transition these two companies into global lifestyle brands with our retail and licensing partners.”

The late Charles “Mask” Lewis, who died in a 2009 car accident, Dan “Punkass” Caldwell and Timm “Skyskrape” Katz founded TapouT in 1997 with a trunk full of T-shirts and a few thousand dollars of start-up money. Over the past decade, he and his partners, including president Marc Kreiner, made the company the biggest apparel success story in MMA.

Tapout, which grossed just $30,000 in sales in 1999, pushed that number to nearly $200 million in 2009 alone. The company now has licensed retailers (including the likes of Dillard’s and Champs) around the world, and in 2008 and 2009, dominated the apparel and brand categories in the World MMA Awards. The company also has sponsored some of the sport’s biggest organizations, events and fighters as a way to support the industry.

As part of the ABG deal, Caldwell and Katz will remain involved in the company.

Silver Star, founded in 1993, has penetrated the MMA, action-sports and motor-sports markets. Once a rival to TapouT, the two companies now find themselves under the same ownership group.

In addition to TapouT and Silver Star, ABG acquired the companies sub-brands and now also own Tapout MPS, Hitman Fight Gear and Iron Star.

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