KKR Acquires Academy Sports

Academy Sports & Outdoors is under new ownership.

The Katy, Texas-based retail chain announced Tuesday it was acquired by New York private equity firm Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. in a move that Academy President Robyn Faldyn said would accelerate growth for the athletic and outdoor-focused retailer.

The current owners, the Gochman family, will retain a minority stake in the 131-door chain, which operates primarily in the southeastern U.S. and saw $2.7 billion in revenue last year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

KKR is an international private equity firm with $61 billion in assets.

As part of the agreement, Faldyn also will take on the CEO role, currently held by Chairman David Gochman, when the deal closes in six to eight weeks.

Faldyn said the chain plans to open 12 stores in both new and existing markets in 2011, and he expects KKR’s involvement will facilitate even more expansion.

“The transaction with KKR will give the company more flexibility and access to capital to more aggressively pursue additional store growth along with our focus on upgrading our technology and distribution infrastructure,” he said.

Separately, Academy announced on Tuesday that Robert Frennea had been named EVP and chief merchandising officer, overseeing the company’s four divisions: footwear; apparel; field and stream; and sports and leisure.