UPDATE 1-Canadian Tire to buy hockey retailer, cuts managers

Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:13pm EST

* Closely held firm has 23 stores across Canada

* Annual revenue about C$95 million

* Company cuts handful of executive positions

Nov 28 (Reuters) - Canadian Tire Corp Ltd has agreed to buy closely held hockey retailer Pro Hockey Life Sporting Goods Inc for C$85 million ($85 million), and the company also said on Wednesday it would cut a handful of management positions.

Pro Hockey Life has 23 stores in five Canadian provinces, and annual revenue of about C$95 million, said Canadian Tire, a Toronto-based diversified retailer.

The deal follows last year's acquisition of Forzani Group Ltd, now FGL Sports. Pro Hockey Life will join the FGL unit alongside its existing banners, which include Sport Chek and Atmosphere.

The company has long offered sporting goods such as bicycles and skates alongside house wares and automotive products at its namesake Canadian Tire stores.

Canadian Tire said the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, and expected to close in early 2013.

The company, which is bracing for the arrival of U.S. giant Target Corp into Canada next year, also announced a number of executive departures, which it said will reduce the total number of senior leaders and put "more responsibility on our strongest, most-proven talent".

Among the departures are Executive Vice-President of Corporate Development Mike Arnett, Senior Vice-President of Process Innovation Kristine Freudenthaler, and Angela McMonagle, head of investor relations.

Glenn Butt, who leads the company's automotive groups, will become an associate dealer at a company store.

As well, a "small number" of other executives will be departing, the company said.

"These changes gave the Company an opportunity to further streamline our structure and reduce costs as we enter one of the most competitive retail environments in our history," spokesman Rob Nicol said in an emailed statement.

Canadian Tire shares fell 11 Canadian cents to C$66.90 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.