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Varsity Spirit and Private Equity Owners Settle Class Action Antitrust Suit

 |  May 15, 2024

In a significant development for the cheerleading events industry, Varsity Spirit, along with its current and former private equity owners, has reached a settlement agreement of $82.5 million to resolve a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed more than three years ago in Memphis federal court, accused the cheerleading events promoter of overcharging athletes, reported Reuters.

According to attorneys for the plaintiffs, the proposed accord aims to address allegations that Varsity and affiliated entities engaged in practices that purportedly excluded competitors from the cheer industry, resulting in inflated prices that violated U.S. antitrust law.

Both current owner Bain Capital and former owner Charlesbank Capital, among others, were defendants in the lawsuit and have agreed to participate in the settlement. Despite the settlement, all defendants have maintained their denial of any wrongdoing.

Read more: Class Action Settlement Reached in Cheerleading Monopoly

The terms of the settlement, subject to court approval, have not specified the individual contributions from each defendant towards the $82.5 million total, as reported by Reuters.

In response to the settlement, Varsity, headquartered in Memphis, issued a statement expressing its satisfaction with the resolution. The company affirmed its confidence in having acted appropriately and in the best interest of the sport. Bain Capital and the plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit declined to comment, while Charlesbank Capital did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

This settlement follows a prior resolution reached by Varsity last year, in which it settled a related case with gyms, spectators and other direct purchasers for $43 million, also reported by Reuters.

Source: Reuters