Private equity firm Compass Diversified Holdings has acquired a controlling interest in Camelbak.

Camelbak sold to owner of Fox Racing Shox

Based in Petaluma, California and founded in 1989, Camelbak invented the hands-free hydration category. The company was started by cycle racer Michael Eidson, a medical technician who decided to fill an IV bag with water and slip it into a white tube sock for the Hotter’N Hell 100 bike race. 

Compass Diversified Holdings owns a number of companies, including Fox Racing Shox.

For the year ended December 31, 2010, CamelBak reported revenue of $122.2m.

A press release from Compass Diversified Holdings (CODI) said:

"The purchase price of $257.5m for the membership interests of CamelBak is based on a total enterprise value of $245m and includes $12.5mn of cash and working capital adjustments. The acquisition was consummated through a majority-owned subsidiary, CamelBak Acquisition Corp. This structure will allow CODI to amortize a substantial portion of the purchase price for tax purposes. CODI funded the acquisition through drawings on its Revolving Credit Facility, as well as through funds provided by a private placement of 1.575 million of its common shares at the closing market price of $12.50 per share on August 23, 2011, to CGI Magyar Holdings LLC ("CMH"), its largest shareholder. An affiliate of CMH also purchased $45.0 million of convertible preferred stock in CamelBak Acquisition Corp. Acquisition related costs were approximately $4.2m.

"CODI’s initial common equity ownership in CamelBak Acquisition Corp. is approximately 89.9%. In addition to its equity investment in CamelBak Acquisition Corp., CODI provided loans totaling $145.2 million to CamelBak as part of the transaction. CamelBak’s management team and a lender in CODI’s Revolving Credit Facility also invested in the transaction alongside CODI."

Alan Offenberg, CEO of CODI, said: "Camelbak possesses the critical characteristics that we seek in all of our subsidiaries, including market leadership, strong operating history and cash flow levels, proven management and compelling growth opportunities. Camelbak is an industry pioneer with strong brand recognition as the premier innovator of personal hydration products, offering superior performance as well as important health and environmental benefits. We expect to capitalise on the company’s strong market position, as well as favourable macro trends, including the growing demand for improved everyday hydration. We believe Camelbak will continue to evolve its leading product and innovation platform and strengthen its relationships with top retailers and the military, thereby increasing consumer penetration levels globally. We look forward to working with CamelBak to continue to accelerate their growth."

Sally McCoy, CEO of Camelbak, will continue to serve in the same capacity at the company. She said: "We are eager to leverage the unique strengths of CODI’s financing structure and history of working with established middle market companies to build upon our track record of success in providing advanced hydration solutions for customers on a worldwide basis."

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