SOURCE: Charlesbank Capital Partners

August 15, 2007 13:16 ET

Charlesbank Capital Partners and Transportation Resource Partners to Acquire Mastercraft Boat Company

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - August 15, 2007) - Charlesbank Capital Partners and Transportation Resource Partners have announced plans to jointly acquire MasterCraft Boat Company, in partnership with management, from US Equity Partners, an investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co. MasterCraft is the world's leading builder of water ski, wakeboard and luxury performance powerboats. Debt financing will be provided by Jefferies and Company. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter; terms were not disclosed.

For 40 years, MasterCraft has defined the high-performance inboard sport boat market, serving as the official tow boat of the most prestigious water ski and wakeboard tournaments in the world. Based in Vonore, TN, the company offers a diverse product line covering both the freshwater and saltwater markets. Its variety of inboard boats range from 19-foot world-record-class water ski boats to 28-foot luxury cruisers. Numerous awards over the years highlight the continued industry respect for MasterCraft and its products, including, most recently, the Water Sport Industry Association's "Manufacturer of the Year" (2006 and 2007) and #1 ranking in Inboard Ski/Wakeboard Customer Satisfaction from the National Marine Manufacturers Association. MasterCraft sells boats through a network of more than 150 dealers in North America and throughout the world.

"We at MasterCraft have enjoyed a strong, supportive relationship with Wasserstein," says MasterCraft's President & CEO, John Dorton, a 12-year veteran of the company. "We believe that Charlesbank and TRP are exceptional private equity firms as well, which can continue to help us redefine marine design, strengthen manufacturing and distribution, and improve the experience for our customers."

Roger Penske, Managing Director of Transportation Resource Partners, says, "MasterCraft has established an outstanding reputation for performance, quality and product innovation. We are pleased to have joined the MasterCraft team and look forward to supporting the company during the next phase of its growth."

"MasterCraft is an outstanding company with consistently strong financial performance, one of the industry's most respected management teams and a reputation as an excellent innovator," says Andrew Janower, Managing Director, Charlesbank Capital Partners. "We have partnered successfully with TRP in the past, and now we look forward to putting our combined strength behind the preeminent MasterCraft brand to help the company capitalize on its many opportunities for growth."

George Majoros, President and Chief Operating Officer of Wasserstein & Co., says, "The MasterCraft investment has been a success from every perspective. While this transaction will allow us to return significant capital to our investors, we will miss our association with the company and its people." Robert Fogelson, Managing Director of Wasserstein & Co., adds, "Our firm is very grateful to John Dorton and his team for all of the hard work that they have put in over the past several years with us. We wish them and the buying group every success going forward."

Lazard advised MasterCraft on the transaction.

About Charlesbank

Charlesbank Capital Partners is a middle-market private equity investment firm managing approximately $1.5 billion of capital. Charlesbank focuses on management-led buyouts and growth capital financings, typically investing $25 million to $100 million per transaction in companies with enterprise values of $50 million to $750 million. The firm seeks to partner with strong management teams to build companies with sustainable competitive advantages and excellent prospects for growth. Charlesbank is currently investing through Charlesbank Equity Fund VI, a $900 million fund. For more information, visit www.charlesbank.com.

About Transportation Resource Partners

Transportation Resource Partners, LP is a $265 million private equity fund that makes leveraged investments in growth-oriented companies operating in the transportation and transportation services industries. TRP's philosophy is to identify attractive investment situations where it can work in partnership with management to support growth. TRP's principals have extensive operating and investing experience in the transportation industry. TRP, along with its predecessor fund, Penske Capital Partners, has been responsible for managing over $600 million of equity capital. For more information on TRP, please visit www.trpfund.com.

About Wasserstein & Co.

Wasserstein & Co., LP is a leading independent private equity and investment firm, focused primarily on leveraged buyout investments and related investment activities. The firm manages capital on behalf of its institutional and individual investors, including public and corporate pension funds, foreign governmental entities, endowments and foundations, and high-net-worth individuals. The firm historically has made investments in consumer products, media and other industry sectors. Representative investments include Harry & David, Odwalla, Sportcraft, All-Clad, Maybelline, American Lawyer Media and New York Magazine. For more information, please visit www.wasserco.com.

Contact Information