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Former sponsors of Maria Sharapova in administration 13 September 2012

A sports manufacturer which has backed some of the biggest names in tennis has filed for bankruptcy in the UK.

Administrators were appointed for Prince Sports Europe Limited on 15 August and the details were published on the London Gazette website yesterday (12 September).

As well as backing former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova (pictured) the firm has also supported a galaxy of tennis stars including Nikolay Davydenko, Jennifer Capriati, Patrick Rafter, Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova.

The company is also the exclusive licensee of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for Wimbledon branded racquets, racquets bags and racquets accessories.

Sharapova played with a Prince racket from the age of nine and won three major titles – Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open – with one of the firm’s rackets before ending the deal in 2010.

The company began in the US as a manufacturer of tennis ball machines before growing to be what it’s website states is an “industry leader in the innovation and manufacturing” of performance racquet sports products.

It claimed to “revolutionise” the game with introduction of racquet technologies such as “oversize” and “longbody” and most recently with O3 and speedport.

According to the administrators the company will trade on after new backer took over the assets with all non-directors keeping their jobs.

Joint Administrators’ Julie Swan and Mark Phillips of Pitman Cohen Recoveries LLP of South Ruislip, Middlesex are handling the process.

Swan said a deal was struck for the European arm of the business, which was forced into administration as a result of the US side filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

She said: “A new entity has bought the name and license of the business, so it will continue to trade.

“The majority of staff will keep their jobs with all non-directors staying with the new company.”



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