10-K 1 d275106d10k.htm FORM 10-K Form 10-K
Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

Form 10-K

 

x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011

or

 

¨ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from             to             

Commission File Number: 0-51937

 

 

Compass Diversified Holdings

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware   57-6218917

(Jurisdiction of incorporation

or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

Commission File Number: 0-51938

 

 

Compass Group Diversified Holdings LLC

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware   20-3812051

(Jurisdiction of incorporation

or organization)

 

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

Sixty One Wilton Road

Second Floor

Westport, CT

  06880
(Address of principal executive offices)   (Zip Code)

(203) 221-1703

(Registrants’ telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of Each Class

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Shares representing beneficial interests in Compass Diversified Holdings (“trust shares”)   New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12 (g) of the Act: None

 

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrants are collectively a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ¨    No  x

Indicate by check mark if the registrants are collectively not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ¨    No  x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrants (1) have filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrants were required to file such reports), and (2) have been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrants have submitted electronically and posted on their corporate website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  x    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrants’ knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrants are collectively a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer   ¨    Accelerated filer   x
Non-accelerated filer   ¨    Smaller reporting company   ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrants are collectively a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ¨    No  x

The aggregate market value of the outstanding shares of trust stock held by non-affiliates of Compass Diversified Holdings at June 30, 2011 was $650,945,059 based on the closing price on the New York Stock Exchange on that date. For purposes of the foregoing calculation only, all directors and officers of the registrant have been deemed affiliates.

There were 48,300,000 shares of trust stock without par value outstanding at February 25, 2012.

 

 

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Certain information in the registrant’s definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Commission relating to the registrant’s 2011 Annual Meeting of Stockholders is incorporated by reference into Part III.

 

 

 


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

 

PART I

     
           Page  

Item 1.

   Business      5   

Item 1A.

   Risk Factors      58   

Item 1B.

   Unresolved Staff Comments      71   

Item 2.

   Properties      72   

Item 3.

   Legal Proceedings      74   

Item 4.

   Mine Safety Disclosures      75   

PART II

     

Item 5.

   Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities      76   

Item 6

   Selected Financial Data      79   

Item 7.

   Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations      81   

Item 7A.

   Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk      119   

Item 8.

   Financial Statements and Supplementary Data      120   

Item 9.

   Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure      121   

Item 9A

   Controls and Procedures      122   

Item 9B.

   Other Information      123   

PART III

     
     

Item 10.

   Directors, and Executive Officers and Corporate Governance      124   

Item 11.

   Executive Compensation      124   

Item 12.

   Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters      124   

Item 13.

   Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence      124   

Item 14.

   Principal Accountant Fees and Services      124   

PART IV

     
     

Item 15.

   Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules      125   

 

2


Table of Contents

NOTE TO READER

In reading this Annual Report on Form 10-K, references to:

 

   

the “Trust” and “Holdings” refer to Compass Diversified Holdings;

 

   

“businesses”, “operating segments”, “subsidiaries” and “reporting units” all refer to, collectively, the businesses controlled by the Company;

 

   

the “Company” refer to Compass Group Diversified Holdings LLC;

 

   

the “Manager” refer to Compass Group Management LLC (“CGM”);

 

   

the “initial businesses” refer to, collectively, Staffmark Holdings, Inc., Crosman Acquisition Corporation, Compass AC Holdings, Inc. and Silvue Technologies Group, Inc.;

 

   

the “2007 acquisitions” refer to, collectively, the acquisitions of Aeroglide Corporation, HALO Branded Solutions and American Furniture Manufacturing;

 

   

the “2008 acquisitions” refer to, collectively, the acquisitions of Fox Factory Inc. and Staffmark Investment LLC;

 

   

the “2010 acquisitions” refer to, collectively, the acquisitions of Liberty Safe and Security Products, LLC and ERGObaby Carrier, Inc.;

 

   

the “2011 acquisition” refer to the acquisition of CamelBak Products, LLC;

 

   

the “2007 disposition” refer to the sale of Crosman Acquisition Corporation;

 

   

the “2008 dispositions” refer to, collectively, the sales of Aeroglide Corporation and Silvue Technologies Group, Inc.;

 

   

the “2011 disposition” refers to the sale of Staffmark Holdings, Inc.;

 

   

the “Trust Agreement” refer to the amended and restated Trust Agreement of the Trust dated as of April 25, 2007;

 

   

the “Prior Credit Agreement” refer to the Credit Agreement with a group of lenders led by Madison Capital, LLC which provided for a “Prior Revolving Credit Facility” and a “Prior Term Loan Facility”;

 

   

the “Credit Facility” refer to the Credit Facility with a group of lenders led by TD Securities (USA) LLC (“TD Securities”) which provides for a Revolving Credit Facility and a Term Loan Facility;

 

   

the “Revolving Credit Facility” refer to the $290 million Revolving Credit Facility provided by the Credit Facility that matures in December 2016;

 

   

the “Term Loan Facility” refer to the $225 million Term Loan Facility, as of December 31, 2011, provided by the Credit Facility that matures in December 2017;

 

   

the “LLC Agreement” refer to the second amended and restated operating agreement of the Company dated as of January 9, 2007; and

 

   

“we”, “us” and “our” refer to the Trust, the Company and the businesses together.

 

3


Table of Contents

Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Disclosure

This Annual Report on Form 10-K, including the sections entitled “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business,” contains forward-looking statements. We may, in some cases, use words such as “project,” “predict,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “expect,” “estimate,” “intend,” “should,” “would,” “could,” “potentially,” or “may” or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control, including, among other things:

 

   

our ability to successfully operate our businesses on a combined basis, and to effectively integrate and improve any future acquisitions;

 

   

our ability to remove our Manager and our Manager’s right to resign;

 

   

our trust and organizational structure, which may limit our ability to meet our dividend and distribution policy;

 

   

our ability to service and comply with the terms of our indebtedness;

 

   

our cash flow available for distribution and our ability to make distributions in the future to our shareholders;

 

   

our ability to pay the management fee, profit allocation when due and pay the put price if and when due;

 

   

our ability to make and finance future acquisitions;

 

   

our ability to implement our acquisition and management strategies;

 

   

the regulatory environment in which our businesses operate;

 

   

trends in the industries in which our businesses operate;

 

   

changes in general economic or business conditions or economic or demographic trends in the United States and other countries in which we have a presence, including changes in interest rates and inflation;

 

   

environmental risks affecting the business or operations of our businesses;

 

   

our and our Manager’s ability to retain or replace qualified employees of our businesses and our Manager;

 

   

costs and effects of legal and administrative proceedings, settlements, investigations and claims; and

 

   

extraordinary or force majeure events affecting the business or operations of our businesses.

Our actual results, performance, prospects or opportunities could differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements. A description of some of the risks that could cause our actual results to differ appears under the section “Risk Factors”. Additional risks of which we are not currently aware or which we currently deem immaterial could also cause our actual results to differ.

In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, you should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. The forward-looking events discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K may not occur. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this Annual Report. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

 

4


Table of Contents

PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Compass Diversified Holdings, a Delaware statutory trust (“Holdings”, or the “Trust”), was incorporated in Delaware on November 18, 2005. Compass Group Diversified Holdings, LLC, a Delaware limited liability Company (the “Company”), was also formed on November 18, 2005. The Trust and the Company (collectively “CODI”) were formed to acquire and manage a group of small and middle-market businesses headquartered in North America. The Trust is the sole owner of 100% of the Trust Interests, as defined in our LLC Agreement, of the Company. Pursuant to that LLC Agreement, the Trust owns an identical number of Trust Interests in the Company as exist for the number of outstanding shares of the Trust. Accordingly, our shareholders are treated as beneficial owners of Trust Interests in the Company and, as such, are subject to tax under partnership income tax provisions.

The Company is the operating entity with a board of directors whose corporate governance responsibilities are similar to that of a Delaware corporation. The Company’s board of directors oversees the management of the Company and our businesses and the performance of Compass Group Management LLC (“CGM” or our “Manager”). Our Manager is the sole owner of our Allocation Interests, as defined in our LLC Agreement.

Overview

We acquire controlling interests in and actively manage businesses that we believe operate in industries with long-term macroeconomic growth opportunities, and that have positive and stable cash flows, face minimal threats of technological or competitive obsolescence and have strong management teams largely in place.

Our unique public structure provides investors with an opportunity to participate in the ownership and growth of companies which have historically been owned by private equity firms, wealthy individuals or families. Through the acquisition of a diversified group of businesses with these characteristics, we also offer investors an opportunity to diversify their own portfolio risk while participating in the ongoing cash flows of those businesses through the receipt of distributions.

Our disciplined approach to our target market provides opportunities to methodically purchase attractive businesses at values that are accretive to our shareholders. For sellers of businesses, our unique structure allows us to acquire businesses efficiently with little or no financing contingencies and, following acquisition, to provide our businesses with substantial access to growth capital.

We believe that private company operators and corporate parents looking to sell their businesses may consider us an attractive purchaser because of our ability to:

 

   

provide ongoing strategic and financial support for their businesses;

 

   

maintain a long-term outlook as to the ownership of those businesses where such an outlook is required for maximization of our shareholders’ return on investment; and

 

   

consummate transactions efficiently without being dependent on third-party financing on a transaction-by-transaction basis.

In particular, we believe that our outlook on length of ownership and active management on our part may alleviate the concern that many private company operators and parent companies may have with regard to their businesses going through multiple sale processes in a short period of time. We believe this outlook both reduces the risk that businesses may be sold at unfavorable points in the overall market cycle and enhances our ability to develop a comprehensive strategy to grow the earnings and cash flows of our businesses, which we expect will better enable us to meet our long-term objective of paying distributions to our shareholders and increasing shareholder value. Finally, we have found that our ability to acquire businesses without the cumbersome delays and conditions typical of third party transactional financing can be very appealing to sellers of businesses who are interested in confidentiality and certainty to close.

We believe our management team’s strong relationships with industry executives, accountants, attorneys, business brokers, commercial and investment bankers, and other potential sources of acquisition opportunities offer us substantial opportunities to assess small to middle market businesses that may be available for acquisition. In addition, the flexibility, creativity, experience and expertise of our management team in structuring transactions allows us to consider non-traditional and complex transactions tailored to fit a specific acquisition target.

 

5


Table of Contents

In terms of the businesses in which we have a controlling interest as of December 31, 2011, we believe that these businesses have strong management teams, operate in strong markets with defensible market niches and maintain long standing customer relationships. We believe that the strength of this model, which provides for significant industry, customer and geographic diversity, has become even more apparent in the current challenging economic environment.

2011 Highlights

Acquisitions

 

   

On August 24, 2011, we purchased a controlling interest in CamelBak Products, LLC (“CamelBak”) with headquarters in Petaluma, California. CamelBak invented the hands-free hydration category and is the global leader in the design and manufacture of personal hydration products for outdoor, recreation and military use. The purchase price, including minority interests, of $258.6 million was based on a total enterprise value of $245 million and included $13.6 million in cash and working capital. We funded the acquisition through drawings on our Prior Revolving Credit Facility as well as through funds provided by a private placement of 1,575,000 of our common shares to CGI Magyer Holdings LLC (“CMH”), our largest shareholder. An affiliate of CMH also purchased $45.0 million of convertible preferred stock in CamelBak Acquisition Corp. a majority owned subsidiary of us. Other non-controlling interest holders, including management of CamelBak, purchased $2.0 million of CamelBak common stock. On March 6, 2012, CamelBak redeemed its 11% convertible preferred stock for $45.3 million plus accrued dividends of $2.7 million, from an affiliate of CMH ($47.7 million), our largest shareholder, and noncontrolling shareholders ($0.3 million). The redemption was funded by intercompany debt and an equity contribution from us of $19.2 million and $25.9 million, respectively. In addition, noncontrolling shareholders of CamelBak invested $2.9 million of equity in order for us and noncontrolling shareholders to maintain existing ownership percentages of CamelBak common stock of 89.9% and 10.1%, respectively.

 

   

On November 21, 2011 our majority owned subsidiary, The ERGObaby Carrier, Inc. (“ERGObaby”) acquired all of the outstanding stock of Orbit Baby, Inc. (“Orbit Baby”) for $17.5 million. Founded in 2004 and based in Newark, California, Orbit Baby produces and markets a premium line of stroller travel systems, including car seats, strollers and bassinets that are interchangeable using a patented hub ring.

Disposition

 

   

On October 17, 2011, we sold our majority-owned subsidiary, Staffmark Holdings, Inc. (“Staffmark”) for a total enterprise value of $295 million to a subsidiary of Japan-based Recruit Co., Ltd. We received approximately $217.2 million at the time of sale in net proceeds after deducting fees, costs and non-controlling shareholder’s interests. We recorded a gain of $88.6 million and used the net proceeds to pay down our Prior Revolving Credit Facility.

Refinancing

 

   

On October 27, 2011, we entered into a new Credit Facility which includes a Revolving Credit Facility totaling $290 million and a Term Loan Facility totaling $225 million. This Credit Facility, with a group of lenders led by TD Securities aggregating $515 million replaces our Prior Credit Agreement which was with a group of lenders led by Madison Capital, LLC. The Revolving Credit Facility is for a term of five years and the Term Loan Facility is for a term of six years.

2011 Distributions

For the 2011 fiscal year we declared distributions to our shareholders totaling $1.44 per share.

The following is a brief summary of the businesses in which we own a controlling interest at December 31, 2011:

Advanced Circuits

Compass AC Holdings, Inc. (“Advanced Circuits” or “ACI”), headquartered in Aurora, Colorado, is a provider of prototype, quick-turn and production rigid printed circuit boards, or “PCBs”, throughout the United States. PCBs are a vital component of virtually all electronic products. The prototype and quick-turn portions of the PCB industry are characterized by customers requiring high levels of responsiveness, technical support and timely delivery. We made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in Advanced Circuits, on May 16, 2006, for approximately $81.0 million. We currently own 69.6% of the outstanding stock of Advanced Circuits on a primary basis and 69.4% on a fully diluted basis.

 

6


Table of Contents

American Furniture

AFM Holding Corporation (“American Furniture” or “AFM”) headquartered in Ecru, Mississippi, is a leader in the manufacturing of low-cost upholstered stationary and motion furniture, including sofas, loveseats, sectionals, recliners and complementary products to the promotional furniture market. We made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in AFM on August 31, 2007 for approximately $97.0 million. As a result of the recapitalization of American Furniture’s outstanding debt with additional equity during 2011, we currently own approximately 99.9% of AFM’s outstanding stock on a primary basis and fully diluted basis.

CamelBak

CamelBak, headquartered in Petaluma, California, is a diversified hydration and personal protection platform offering products for outdoor, recreation and military applications. CamelBak offers a broad range of recreational / military hydration packs, reusable water bottles, specialized military gloves and performance accessories. We made loans to, and purchased a controlling interest in, CamelBak on August 24, 2011 for approximately $211.6 million. We currently own 89.9% of the outstanding stock of CamelBak on a primary basis and 76.7% on a fully diluted basis.

ERGObaby

Ergobaby, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, is a premier designer, marketer and distributor of baby wearing products and accessories. ERGObaby’s reputation for product innovation, reliability and safety has led to numerous awards and accolades from consumer surveys and publications. ERGObaby offers a broad range of wearable baby carriers and related products that are sold through more than 900 retailers and web shops in the United States and internationally. On November 18, 2011 ERGObaby acquired the premium stroller manufacturer and distributer, Orbit Baby for approximately $17.5 million. We made loans to, and purchased a controlling interest in, ERGObaby on September 16, 2010 for approximately $85.2 million. We currently own 81.1% of the outstanding stock of ERGObaby on a primary basis and 74.6% on a fully diluted basis.

Fox

Fox Factory Holding Corp. (“Fox”) headquartered in Scotts Valley, California, is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of high end suspension products for mountain bikes and power sports, which includes; all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles. Fox acts both as a tier one supplier to leading action sports original equipment manufacturers (“OEM”) and provides after-market products to retailers and distributors (“Aftermarket”). Fox’s products are recognized as the industry’s performance leaders by retailers and end-users alike. We made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in Fox on January 4, 2008, for approximately $80.4 million. We currently own 78.0% of the outstanding common stock on a primary basis and 67.9% on a fully diluted basis.

HALO

HALO Lee Wayne LLC, operating under the brand names of HALO and Lee Wayne (“HALO”), headquartered in Sterling, Illinois, serves as a one-stop shop for over 40,000 customers providing design, sourcing, management and fulfillment services across all categories of its customer promotional product needs in effectively communicating a logo or marketing message to a target audience. HALO has established itself as a leader in the promotional products and marketing industry through its focus on servicing its group of over 600 account executives. We made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in HALO on February 28, 2007 for approximately $62.0 million. We currently own 88.7% of the outstanding common stock on a primary basis and 72.3% on a fully diluted basis.

Liberty Safe

Liberty Safe and Security Products, Inc. (“Liberty Safe” or “Liberty”), headquartered in Payson, Utah, is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of premium home and gun safes in North America. From it’s over 200,000 square foot manufacturing facility, Liberty produces a wide range of home and gun safe models in a broad assortment of sizes, features and styles. We made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in Liberty Safe on March 31, 2010 for approximately $70.2 million. We currently own 96.2% of the outstanding stock of Liberty Safe on a primary basis and 87.6% on a fully diluted basis.

Tridien

Anodyne Medical Device, Inc. (“Anodyne”, which was rebranded as “Tridien” in September 2010) headquartered in Coral Springs, Florida, is a leading designer and manufacturer of powered and non-powered medical therapeutic support services and patient positioning devices serving the acute care, long-term care and home health care markets. Tridien is one of the nation’s leading designers and manufacturers of specialty therapeutic support surfaces and is able to manufacture products in multiple locations to better serve a national customer base. We made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in Tridien from CGI on August 1, 2006 for approximately $31.0 million. We currently own 73.9% of the outstanding capital stock on a primary basis and 60.0% on a fully diluted basis.

Our businesses also represent our operating segments.

 

7


Table of Contents

Tax Reporting

Information returns will be filed by the Trust and the Company with the IRS, as required, with respect to income, gain, loss, deduction and other items derived from the company’s activities. The Company has and will file a partnership return with the IRS and intends to issue a Schedule K-1 to the trustee. The trustee intends to provide information to each holder of shares using a monthly convention as the calculation period. For 2011, and future years, the Trust has, and will continue to file a Form 1065 and issue Schedule K-1 to shareholders. For 2011, we delivered the Schedule K-1 to shareholders within the same time frame as we delivered the schedule to shareholders for the 2010 and 2009 taxable year. The relevant and necessary information for tax purposes is readily available electronically through our website. Each holder will be deemed to have consented to provide relevant information, and if the shares are held through a broker or other nominee, to allow such broker or other nominee to provide such information as is reasonably requested by us for purposes of complying with our tax reporting obligations.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

We have filed with the SEC Forms S-1 and S-3 under the Securities Act, and Forms 10-Q, 10-K, and 8-K under the Exchange Act, which include exhibits, schedules and amendments. In addition, copies of such reports are available free of charge that can be accessed indirectly through our website http://www.compassdiversifiedholdings.com and are available as soon as reasonably practicable after such documents are electronically filed or furnished with the SEC.

 

8


Table of Contents

 

LOGO

 

(1) CGI and its affiliates beneficially own approximately 16.4% of the Trust shares and is our single largest holder. Mr. Massoud and Mr. Offenberg are not directors, officers or members of CGI or any of its affiliates.
(2) Owned by members of our Manager, including Mr. Massoud as managing member.
(3) Mr. Massoud is the managing member.
(4) The Allocation Interests, which carry the right to receive a profit allocation, represent less than 0.1% equity interest in the Company.
(5) Mr. Day is a non-managing member.

 

9


Table of Contents

Our Manager

Our Manager, CGM, has been engaged to manage the day-to-day operations and affairs of the Company and to execute our strategy, as discussed below. Our management team has worked together since 1998. Collectively, our management team has approximately 90 years of experience in acquiring and managing small and middle market businesses. We believe our Manager is unique in the marketplace in terms of the success and experience of its employees in acquiring and managing diverse businesses of the size and general nature of our businesses. We believe this experience will provide us with an advantage in executing our overall strategy. Our management team devotes a majority of its time to the affairs of the Company.

We have entered into a management services agreement (the “Management Services Agreement”) pursuant to which our Manager manages the day-to-day operations and affairs of the Company and oversees the management and operations of our businesses. We pay our Manager a quarterly management fee for the services it performs on our behalf. In addition, our Manager receives a profit allocation with respect to its Allocation Interests in us. See Part III, Item 13 “Certain Relationships and Related Transactions” for further descriptions of the management fees and profit allocation to be paid to our Manager. In consideration of our Manager’s acquisition of the Allocation Interests, we entered into a Supplemental Put agreement with our Manager pursuant to which our Manager has the right to cause us to purchase its Allocation Interests upon termination of the Management Services Agreement. Our Manager owns 100% of the Allocation Interests of the Company, for which it paid $0.1 million.

The Company’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer are employees of our Manager and have been seconded to us. Neither the Trust nor the Company has any other employees. Although our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer are employees of our Manager, they report directly to the Company’s board of directors. The management fee paid to our Manager covers all expenses related to the services performed by our Manager, including the compensation of our Chief Executive Officer and other personnel providing services to us. The Company reimburses our Manager for the salary and related costs and expenses of our Chief Financial Officer and his staff, who dedicate substantially all of their time to the affairs of the Company.

See Part III, Item 13, “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions and Director Independence”.

Market Opportunity

We acquire and actively manage small and middle market businesses. We characterize small to middle market businesses as those that generate annual cash flows of up to $60 million. We believe that the merger and acquisition market for small to middle market businesses is highly fragmented and provides opportunities to purchase businesses at attractive prices. We believe that the following factors contribute to lower acquisition multiples for small and middle market businesses:

 

   

there are fewer potential acquirers for these businesses;

 

   

third-party financing generally is less available for these acquisitions;

 

   

sellers of these businesses frequently consider non-economic factors, such as continuing board membership or the effect of the sale on their employees; and

 

   

these businesses are less frequently sold pursuant to an auction process.

We believe that opportunities exist to augment existing management at such businesses and improve the performance of these businesses upon their acquisition. In the past, our management team has acquired businesses that were owned by entrepreneurs or large corporate parents. In these cases, our management team has frequently found that there have been opportunities to further build upon the management teams of acquired businesses beyond those in existence at the time of acquisition. In addition, our management team has frequently found that financial reporting and management information systems of acquired businesses may be improved, both of which can lead to improvements in earnings and cash flow. Finally, because these businesses tend to be too small to have their own corporate development efforts, we believe opportunities exist to assist these businesses as they pursue organic or external growth strategies that were often not pursued by their previous owners. We believe the current financing environment is conducive to our ability to consummate acquisitions.

Our Strategy

We have two primary strategies that we use in order to provide distributions to our shareholders and increase shareholder value. First, we focus on growing the earnings and cash flow from our businesses. We believe that the scale and scope of our businesses give us a diverse base of cash flow upon which to further build. Second, we identify, perform due diligence on, negotiate and consummate additional platform acquisitions of small to middle market businesses in attractive industry sectors in accordance with acquisition criteria established by the board of directors

 

10


Table of Contents

Management Strategy

Our management strategy involves the proactive financial and operational management of the businesses we own in order to pay distributions to our shareholders and increase shareholder value. Our Manager oversees and supports the management teams of each of our businesses by, among other things:

 

   

recruiting and retaining talented managers to operate our businesses using structured incentive compensation programs, including minority equity ownership, tailored to each business;

 

   

regularly monitoring financial and operational performance, instilling consistent financial discipline, and supporting management in the development and implementation of information systems to effectively achieve these goals;

 

   

assisting management in their analysis and pursuit of prudent organic growth strategies;

 

   

identifying and working with management to execute attractive external growth and acquisition opportunities;

 

   

assist management in controlling and right-sizing overhead costs, particularly in the current challenging economic environment; and

 

   

forming strong subsidiary level boards of directors to supplement management in their development and implementation of strategic goals and objectives.

Specifically, while our businesses have different growth opportunities and potential rates of growth, we expect our Manager to work with the management teams of each of our businesses to increase the value of, and cash generated by, each business through various initiatives, including:

 

   

making selective capital investments to expand geographic reach, increase capacity, or reduce manufacturing costs of our businesses;

 

   

investing in product research and development for new products, processes or services for customers;

 

   

improving and expanding existing sales and marketing programs;

 

   

pursuing reductions in operating costs through improved operational efficiency or outsourcing of certain processes and products; and

 

   

consolidating or improving management of certain overhead functions.

In terms of the difficult economic environment we are currently facing, we and each of our subsidiary management teams have been, and will continue to be, intensely focused on performance and cost control measures through this economic cycle.

Our businesses typically acquire and integrate complementary businesses. We believe that complementary acquisitions will improve our overall financial and operational performance by allowing us to:

 

   

leverage manufacturing and distribution operations;

 

   

leverage branding and marketing programs, as well as customer relationships;

 

   

add experienced management or management expertise;

 

   

increase market share and penetrate new markets; and

 

   

realize cost synergies by allocating the corporate overhead expenses of our businesses across a larger number of businesses and by implementing and coordinating improved management practices.

We incur third party debt financing almost entirely at the Company level, which we use, in combination with our equity capital, to provide debt financing to each of our businesses and to acquire additional businesses We believe this financing structure is beneficial to the financial and operational activities of each of our businesses by aligning our interests as both equity holders of, and lenders to, our businesses, in a manner that we believe is more efficient than our businesses borrowing from third-party lenders.

 

11


Table of Contents

Acquisition Strategy

Our acquisition strategy involves the acquisition of businesses that we expect to produce stable and growing earnings and cash flow. In this respect, we expect to make acquisitions in industries other than those in which our businesses currently operate if we believe an acquisition presents an attractive opportunity. We believe that attractive opportunities will continue to present themselves, as private sector owners seek to monetize their interests in longstanding and privately-held businesses and large corporate parents seek to dispose of their “non-core” operations.

Our ideal acquisition candidate has the following characteristics:

 

   

is an established North American based company;

 

   

maintains a significant market share in defensible industry niche (i.e., has a “reason to exist”);

 

   

has a solid and proven management team with meaningful incentives;

 

   

has low technological and/or product obsolescence risk; and

 

   

maintains a diversified customer and supplier base.

We benefit from our Manager’s ability to identify potential diverse acquisition opportunities in a variety of industries. In addition, we rely upon our management team’s experience and expertise in researching and valuing prospective target businesses, as well as negotiating the ultimate acquisition of such target businesses. In particular, because there may be a lack of information available about these target businesses, which may make it more difficult to understand or appropriately value such target businesses, on our behalf, our Manager:

 

   

engages in a substantial level of internal and third-party due diligence;

 

   

critically evaluates the management team;

 

   

identifies and assesses any financial and operational strengths and weaknesses of the target business;

 

   

analyzes comparable businesses to assess financial and operational performances relative to industry competitors;

 

   

actively researches and evaluates information on the relevant industry; and

 

   

thoroughly negotiates appropriate terms and conditions of any acquisition.

The process of acquiring new businesses is both time-consuming and complex. Our management team historically has taken from two to twenty-four months to perform due diligence, negotiate and close acquisitions. Although our management team is always at various stages of evaluating several transactions at any given time, there may be periods of time during which our management team does not recommend any new acquisitions to us. Even if an acquisition is recommended by our management team, our board of director’s may not approve it.

Upon acquisition of a new business, we rely on our manager’s team’s experience and expertise to work efficiently and effectively with the management of the new business to jointly develop and execute a successful business plan.

We believe, due to our financing structure, in which both equity and debt capital are raised at the Company level, allowing us to acquire businesses without transaction specific financing, that the current difficult financing environment is conducive to our ability to consummate transactions that may be attractive in both the short- and long-term.

In addition to acquiring businesses, we sell businesses that we own from time to time when attractive opportunities arise that outweigh the value that we believe we will be able to bring such businesses consistent with our long-term investment strategy. As such, our decision to sell a business is based on our belief that doing so will increase shareholder value to a greater extent than through our continued ownership of that business. Upon the sale of a business, we may use the proceeds to retire debt or retain proceeds for acquisitions or general corporate purposes. We do not expect to make special distributions at the time of a sale of one of our businesses; instead, we expect to pay shareholder distributions over time through the earnings and cash flows of our businesses.

Since our inception in May 2006, we have recorded gains on sales of our businesses of over $197 million, or $4.08 per share. We sold Crosman in January 2007 and Aeroglide and Silvue in June 2008 and Staffmark in 2011. We sold Crosman, our

 

12


Table of Contents

majority owned recreational products company for approximately $143 million and our net proceeds and gain on sale were approximately $110 million and $36 million, respectively. We sold Aeroglide, our majority owned designer and manufacturer of industrial drying and cooling equipment for approximately $95 million and our net proceeds and gain on sale were approximately $78 million and $34 million, respectively. We sold Silvue, our majority owned developer and producer of proprietary, high performance liquid coating systems for approximately $95 million and our net proceeds and gain on sale were approximately $64 million and $39 million, respectively and we sold Staffmark, our majority-owned provider of temporary staffing solutions subsidiary for approximately $295 million and our net proceeds and gain on sale were approximately $217 million and $89 million, respectively.

Strategic Advantages

Based on the experience of our management team and its ability to identify and negotiate acquisitions, we believe we are well-positioned to acquire additional businesses. Our management team has strong relationships with business brokers, investment and commercial bankers, accountants, attorneys and other potential sources of acquisition opportunities. In addition, our management team also has a successful track record of acquiring and managing small to middle market businesses in various industries. In negotiating these acquisitions, we believe our management team has been able to successfully navigate complex situations surrounding acquisitions, including corporate spin-offs, transitions of family-owned businesses, management buy-outs and reorganizations.

Our management team has a large network of approximately 2,000 deal intermediaries who we expect to expose us to potential acquisitions. Through this network, as well as our management team’s proprietary transaction sourcing efforts, we have a substantial pipeline of potential acquisition targets. Our management team also has a well-established network of contacts, including professional managers, attorneys, accountants and other third-party consultants and advisors, who may be available to assist us in the performance of due diligence and the negotiation of acquisitions, as well as the management and operation of our acquired businesses.

Finally, because we intend to fund acquisitions through the utilization of our Revolving Credit Facility, we expect to minimize the delays and closing conditions typically associated with transaction specific financing, as is typically the case in such acquisitions. We believe this advantage is a powerful one, especially in the current credit environment, and is highly unusual in the marketplace for acquisitions in which we operate.

Valuation and Due Diligence

When evaluating businesses or assets for acquisition, our management team performs a rigorous due diligence and financial evaluation process. In doing so, we evaluate the operations of the target business as well as the outlook for the industry in which the target business operates. While valuation of a business is, by definition, a subjective process, we define valuations under a variety of analyses, including:

 

   

discounted cash flow analyses;

 

   

evaluation of trading values of comparable companies;

 

   

expected value matrices; and

 

   

examination of recent transactions.

One outcome of this process is a projection of the expected cash flows from the target business. A further outcome is an understanding of the types and levels of risk associated with those projections. While future performance and projections are always uncertain, we believe that with detailed due diligence, future cash flows will be better estimated and the prospects for operating the business in the future better evaluated. To assist us in identifying material risks and validating key assumptions in our financial and operational analysis, in addition to our own analysis, we engage third-party experts to review key risk areas, including legal, tax, regulatory, accounting, insurance and environmental. We also engage technical, operational or industry consultants, as necessary.

A further critical component of the evaluation of potential target businesses is the assessment of the capability of the existing management team, including recent performance, expertise, experience, culture and incentives to perform. Where necessary, and consistent with our management strategy, we actively seek to augment, supplement or replace existing members of management who we believe are not likely to execute our business plan for the target business. Similarly, we analyze and evaluate the financial and operational information systems of target businesses and, where necessary, we enhance and improve those existing systems that are deemed to be inadequate or insufficient to support our business plan for the target business.

 

13


Table of Contents

Financing

We have a Credit Facility with a group of lenders led by TD Securities that we entered into on October 27, 2011. This Credit Facility replaced the Prior Credit Agreement. The Credit Facility provides for a Revolving Credit Facility totaling $290.0 million, subject to borrowing base restrictions, and a Term Loan Facility totaling $225 million. The Term Loan Facility requires quarterly payments of $0.6 million that will commence March 31, 2012, and a final payment of the outstanding principal balance on October 27, 2017. The Revolving Credit Facility matures on October 27, 2016.

The Credit Facility provides for letters of credit under the Revolving Credit Facility in an aggregate face amount not to exceed $100 million outstanding at any time. At no time may the (i) aggregate principal amount of all amounts outstanding under the Revolving Credit Facility, plus (ii) the aggregate amount of all outstanding letters of credit, exceed the borrowing availability under the Credit Facility. At December 31, 2012, we had outstanding letters of credit totaling approximately $2.9 million. The borrowing availability under the Revolving Credit Facility at December 31, 2011 was approximately $287.1 million.

The Credit Facility is secured by all of the assets of the Company, including all of its equity interests in, and loans to, its subsidiaries. (See Note I to the consolidated financial statements for more detail regarding our Credit Facility). This Credit Facility replaced the Prior Credit Agreement which included a $340 million revolving credit facility that expired in December 2012 and a $72.5 million term loan facility that expired in December 2013.

We intend to finance future acquisitions through our Revolving Credit Facility, cash on hand and, if necessary, additional equity and debt financings. We believe, and it has been our experience, that having the ability to finance our acquisitions with the capital resources raised by us, rather than negotiating separate third party financing specifically related to the acquisition of individual businesses, provides us with an advantage in acquiring attractive businesses by minimizing delay and closing conditions that are often related to acquisition-specific financings. This is especially true given the recent disruptions in the overall economy and current volatility in the financial markets. In this respect, we believe that in the future, we may need to pursue additional debt or equity financings, or offer equity in Holdings or target businesses to the sellers of such target businesses, in order to fund multiple future acquisitions.

Our Businesses

Advanced Circuits

Overview

Advanced Circuits, headquartered in Aurora, Colorado, is a provider of prototype, quick-turn and production rigid PCBs, throughout the United States. Advanced Circuits also provides its customers with assembly services in order to meet its customers’ complete PCB needs. The prototype and quick-turn portions of the PCB industry are characterized by customers requiring high levels of responsiveness, technical support and timely delivery. Due to the critical roles that PCBs play in the research and development process of electronics, customers often place more emphasis on the turnaround time and quality of a customized PCB than on the price. Advanced Circuits meets this market need by manufacturing and delivering custom PCBs in as little as 24 hours, providing customers with over 98% error-free production and real-time customer service and product tracking 24 hours per day. During 2011 approximately 63% of Advanced Circuits sales were derived from highly profitable prototype and quick turn production PCBs. In each of the years 2010 and 2009, approximately 64% and 66% of Advanced Circuits’ sales, were derived from highly profitable prototype and quick-turn production PCBs. Advanced Circuits’ success is demonstrated by its broad base of over 11,000 customers with which it does business throughout the year. These customers represent numerous end markets, and for each of the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, no single customer accounted for more than 2% of net sales. Advanced Circuits’ senior management, collectively, has approximately 90 years of experience in the electronic components manufacturing industry and closely related industries.

For the full fiscal years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, Advanced Circuits had net sales of approximately $78.5 million, $74.5 million and $46.5 million, respectively and operating income of $26.6 million, $20.4 million and $16.3 million, respectively. Advanced Circuits had total assets of $88.7 million, $92.0 million and $72.6 million at December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Net sales from Advanced Circuits represented 10.1%, 11.2% and 9.2% of our consolidated net sales for the years 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

History of Advanced Circuits

Advanced Circuits commenced operations in 1989 through the acquisition of the assets of a small Denver based PCB manufacturer, Seiko Circuits. During its first years of operations, Advanced Circuits focused exclusively on manufacturing high volume, production run PCBs with a small group of proportionately large customers. In 1992, after the loss of a

 

14


Table of Contents

significant customer, Advanced Circuits made a strategic shift to limit its dependence on any one customer. As a result, Advanced Circuits began focusing on developing a diverse customer base, and in particular, on providing research and development professionals at equipment manufacturers and academic institutions with low volume, customized prototype and quick-turn PCBs.

In 1997, Advanced Circuits increased its capacity and consolidated its facilities into its current headquarters in Aurora, Colorado. In 2003, to support its growth, Advanced Circuits expanded its PCB manufacturing facility by approximately 37,000 square feet or approximately 150%.

In March 2010 Advanced Circuits acquired Circuit Express, Inc. (“CEI”) for approximately $16.1 million. Based in Tempe Arizona and founded in 1987, CEI focuses on quick-turn and prototype manufacturing of rigid PCBs primarily for the aerospace and defense related industry customers. CEI also specializes in expedited delivery in as fast as 24 hours. CEI reported net sales of approximately $16.4 million in 2010 and $18.7 million for the full fiscal 2011 year.

We purchased a controlling interest in Advanced Circuits on May 16, 2006.

Industry

The PCB industry, which consists of both large global PCB manufacturers and small regional PCB manufacturers, is a vital component to all electronic equipment supply chains, as PCBs serve as the foundation for virtually all electronic products, including cellular telephones, appliances, personal computers, routers, switches and network servers. PCBs are used by manufacturers of these types of electronic products, as well as by persons and teams engaged in research and development of new types of equipment and technologies. According to an IPC 2011 Statistical Report, (March 2011) domestic net sales in 2010, of rigid PCBs grew at the rate of almost 18% to approximately $1.6 billion in 2010 compared to $1.4 billion in 2009.

In contrast to global trends, however, production of PCBs in North America has declined since 2000 and is expected to grow slightly over the next several years according to the IPC 2010 Analysis. The rapid decline in United States production was caused by (i) reduced demand for and spending on PCBs following the technology and telecom industry decline in early 2000; and (ii) increased competition for volume production of PCBs from Asian competitors benefiting from both lower labor costs and less restrictive waste and environmental regulations. While Asian manufacturers have made large market share gains in the PCB industry overall, prototype and quick-turn production, some of the more complex volume production and military production have remained strong in the United States.

Both globally and domestically, the PCB market can be separated into three categories based on required lead time and order volume:

 

   

Prototype PCBs - These PCBs are typically manufactured for customers in research and development departments of original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, and academic institutions. Prototype PCBs are manufactured to the specifications of the customer, within certain manufacturing guidelines designed to increase speed and reduce production costs. Prototyping is a critical stage in the research and development of new products. These prototypes are used in the design and launch of new electronic equipment and are typically ordered in volumes of 1 to 50 PCBs. Because the prototype is used primarily in the research and development phase of a new electronic product, the life cycle is relatively short and requires accelerated delivery time frames of usually less than five days and very high, error-free quality. Order, production and delivery time, as well as responsiveness with respect to each, are key factors for customers as PCBs are indispensable to their research and development activities.

 

   

Quick-Turn Production PCBs - These PCBs are used for intermediate stages of testing for new products prior to full scale production. After a new product has successfully completed the prototype phase, customers undergo test marketing and other technical testing. This stage requires production of larger quantities of PCBs in a short period of time, generally 10 days or less, while it does not yet require high production volumes. This transition stage between low-volume prototype production and volume production is known as quick-turn production. Manufacturing specifications conform strictly to end product requirements and order quantities are typically in volumes of 10 to 500. Similar to prototype PCBs, response time remains crucial as the delivery of quick-turn PCBs can be a gating item in the development of electronic products. Orders for quick-turn production PCBs conform specifically to the customer’s exact end product requirements.

 

   

Volume Production PCBs - These PCBs, which we sometimes refer to as “long lead” and “sub-contract” are used in the full scale production of electronic equipment and specifications conform strictly to end product requirements. Volume Production PCBs are ordered in large quantities, usually over 100 units, and response time is less important, ranging between 15 days to 10 weeks or more.

 

15


Table of Contents

These categories can be further distinguished based on board complexity, with each portion facing different competitive threats. Advanced Circuits competes largely in the prototype and quick-turn production portions of the North American market, which have not been significantly impacted by the Asian based manufacturers due to the quick response time required for these products. The North American prototype and quick-turn production sectors combined represent approximately $1.9 billion in the PCB production industry in 2010.

Several significant trends are present within the PCB manufacturing industry, including:

 

   

Increasing Customer Demand for Quick-Turn Production Services - Rapid advances in technology are significantly shortening product life-cycles and placing increased pressure on OEMs to develop new products in shorter periods of time. In response to these pressures, OEMs invest heavily in research and development, which results in a demand for PCB companies that can offer engineering support and quick-turn production services to minimize the product development process.

 

   

Increasing Complexity of Electronic Equipment - OEMs are continually designing more complex and higher performance electronic equipment, requiring sophisticated PCBs. To satisfy the demand for more advanced electronic products, PCBs are produced using exotic materials and increasingly have higher layer counts and greater component densities. Maintaining the production infrastructure necessary to manufacture PCBs of increasing complexity often requires significant capital expenditures and has acted to reduce the competitiveness of local and regional PCB manufacturers lacking the scale to make such investments.

 

   

Shifting of High Volume Production to Asia - Asian based manufacturers of PCBs are capitalizing on their lower labor costs and are increasing their market share of volume production of PCBs used, for example, in high-volume consumer electronics applications, such as personal computers and cell phones. Asian based manufacturers have been generally unable to meet the lead time requirements for prototype or quick-turn PCB production or the volume production of the most complex PCBs. This “off shoring” of high-volume production orders has placed increased pricing pressure and margin compression on many small domestic manufacturers that are no longer operating at full capacity. Many of these small producers are choosing to cease operations, rather than operate at a loss, as their scale, plant design and customer relationships do not allow them to focus profitably on the prototype and quick-turn sectors of the market.

Products and Services

A PCB is comprised of layers of laminate and contains patterns of electrical circuitry to connect electronic components. Advanced Circuits typically manufactures 2 to 20 layer PCBs, and has the capability to manufacture up even higher layer PCBs. The level of PCB complexity is determined by several characteristics, including size, layer count, density (line width and spacing), materials and functionality. Beyond complexity, a PCB’s unit cost is determined by the quantity of identical units ordered, as engineering and production setup costs per unit decrease with order volume, and required production time, as longer times often allow increased efficiencies and better production management. Advanced Circuits primarily manufactures lower complexity PCBs.

To manufacture PCBs, Advanced Circuits generally receives circuit designs from its customers in the form of computer data files emailed to one of its sales representatives or uploaded on its interactive website. These files are then reviewed to ensure data accuracy and product manufacturability. While processing these computer files, Advanced Circuits generates images of the circuit patterns that are then physically developed on individual layers, using advanced photographic processes. Through a variety of plating and etching processes, conductive materials are selectively added and removed to form horizontal layers of thin circuits, called traces, which are separated by insulating material. A finished multilayer PCB laminates together a number of layers of circuitry. Vertical connections between layers are achieved by metallic plating through small holes, called vias. Vias are made by highly specialized drilling equipment capable of achieving extremely fine tolerances with high accuracy.

Advanced Circuits assists its customers throughout the life-cycle of their products, from product conception through volume production. Advanced Circuits works closely with customers throughout each phase of the PCB development process, beginning with the PCB design verification stage using its unique online FreeDFM.com tool, FreeDFM.comTM, which was launched in 2002, enables customers to receive a free manufacturability assessment report within minutes, resolving design problems that would prohibit manufacturability before the order process is completed and manufacturing begins. The combination of Advanced Circuits’ user-friendly website and its design verification tool reduces the amount of human labor involved in the manufacture of each order as PCBs move from Advanced Circuits’ website directly to its computer numerical control, or CNC, machines for production, saving Advanced Circuits and customers cost and time. As a result of its ability to rapidly and reliably respond to the critical customer requirements, Advanced Circuits generally receives a premium for their prototype and quick-turn PCBs as compared to volume production PCBs.

 

16


Table of Contents

Advanced Circuits manufactures all high margin prototypes and quick-turn orders internally but often utilizes external partners to manufacture production orders that do not fit within its capabilities or capacity constraints at a given time. As a result, Advanced Circuits constantly adjusts the portion of volume production PCBs produced internally to both maximize profitability and ensure that internal capacity is fully utilized.

The following table shows Advanced Circuits’ gross revenue by products and services for the periods indicated:

Gross Sales by Products and Services(1)

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
   2011     2010     2009  

Prototype Production

     29.3     28.9     30.6

Quick-Turn Production

     33.6     32.6     36.4

Volume Production (including assembly)

     35.5     36.1     30.1

Third Party

     1.6     2.4     2.9
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

     100.0     100.0     100.0
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(1) 

As a percentage of gross sales, exclusive of sale discounts.

Competitive Strengths

Advanced Circuits has established itself as a leading provider of prototype and quick-turn PCBs in North America and focuses on satisfying customer demand for on-time delivery of high-quality PCBs. Advanced Circuits’ management believes the following factors differentiate it from many industry competitors:

 

   

Numerous Unique Orders Per Day - For the year ended December 31, 2011, Advanced Circuits received on average over 250 customer orders per day. Due to the large quantity of orders received, Advanced Circuits is able to combine multiple orders in a single panel design prior to production. Through this process, Advanced Circuits is able to reduce the number of costly, labor intensive equipment set-ups required to complete several manufacturing orders. As labor represents the single largest cost of production, management believes this capability gives Advanced Circuits a unique advantage over other industry participants. Advanced Circuits maintains proprietary software that maximizes the number of units placed on any one panel design. A single panel set-up typically accommodates 1 to 12 orders. Further, as a “critical mass” of like orders is required to maximize the efficiency of this process, management believes Advanced Circuits is uniquely positioned as a low cost manufacturer of prototype and quick-turn PCBs.

 

   

Diverse Customer Base - Advanced Circuits possesses a customer base with little industry or customer concentration exposure. During fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, Advanced Circuits did business with over 11,000 customers and added approximately 185 new customers per month. For each of the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, no customer represented over 2% of net sales.

 

   

Highly Responsive Culture and Organization - A key strength of Advanced Circuits is its ability to quickly respond to customer orders and complete the production process. In contrast to many competitors that require a day or more to offer price quotes on prototype or quick-turn production, Advanced Circuits offers its customers quotes within seconds and the ability to place or track orders any time of day. In addition, Advanced Circuits’ production facility operates three shifts per day and is able to ship a customer’s product within 24 hours of receiving its order.

 

   

Proprietary FreeDFM.com Software - Advanced Circuits offers its customers unique design verification services through its online FreeDFM.com tool. This tool, which was launched in 2002, enables customers to receive a free manufacturability assessment report, within minutes, resolving design problems before customers place their orders. The service is relied upon by many of Advanced Circuits’ customers to reduce design errors and minimize production costs. Beyond improved customer service, FreeDFM.com has the added benefit of improving the efficiency of Advanced Circuits’ engineers, as many routine design problems, which typically require an engineer’s time and attention to identify, are identified and sent back to customers automatically.

 

   

Established Partner Network - Advanced Circuits has established third party production relationships with PCB manufacturers in North America and Asia. Through these relationships, Advanced Circuits is able to offer its customers a complete suite of products including those outside of its core production capabilities. Additionally, these relationships allow Advanced Circuits to outsource orders for volume production and focus internal capacity on higher margin, short lead time, production and quick-turn manufacturing.

 

17


Table of Contents

Business Strategies

Advanced Circuits’ management is focused on strategies to increase market share and further improve operating efficiencies. The following is a discussion of these strategies:

 

   

Increase Portion of Revenue from Prototype and Quick-Turn Production - Advanced Circuits’ management believes it can grow revenues and cash flow by continuing to leverage its core prototype and quick-turn capabilities. Over its history, Advanced Circuits has developed a suite of capabilities that management believes allow it to offer a combination of price and customer service unequaled in the market. Advanced Circuits intends to leverage this factor, as well as its core skill set, to increase net sales derived from higher margin prototype and quick-turn production PCBs. In this respect, marketing and advertising efforts focus on attracting and acquiring customers that are likely to require these premium services. And while production composition may shift, growth in these products and services is not expected to come at the expense of declining sales in volume production PCBs, as Advanced Circuits intends to leverage its extensive network of third-party manufacturing partners to continue to meet customers’ demand for these services.

 

   

Acquire Customers from Local and Regional Competitors - Advanced Circuits’ management believes the majority of its competition for prototype and quick-turn PCB orders comes from smaller scale local and regional PCB manufacturers. As an early mover in the prototype and quick-turn sector of the PCB market, Advanced Circuits has been able to grow faster and achieve greater production efficiencies than many industry participants. Management believes Advanced Circuits can continue to use these advantages to gain market share. Further, Advanced Circuits continues to enter into prototype and quick-turn manufacturing relationships with several subscale local and regional PCB manufacturers. According to a November 2010 IPC study, approximately 309 PCB manufacturers operate in the United States with only 26 generating annual sales in excess of $20 million. Management believes that while many of these manufacturers maintain strong, longstanding customer relationships, they are unable to produce PCBs with short turn-around times at competitive prices. As a result, Advanced Circuits sees an opportunity for growth by providing production support to these manufacturers or direct support to the customers of these manufacturers, whereby the manufacturers act more as a broker for the relationship.

 

   

Remain Committed to Customers and Employees - Advanced Circuits has remained focused on providing the highest quality product and service to its customers. We believe this focus has allowed Advanced Circuits to achieve its outstanding delivery and quality record. Advanced Circuits’ management believes this reputation is a key competitive differentiator and is focused on maintaining and building upon it. Similarly, management believes its committed base of employees is a key differentiating factor. Advanced Circuits currently has a profit sharing program and tri-annual bonuses for all of its employees. Management also occasionally sets additional performance targets for individuals and departments and establishes rewards, such as lunch celebrations or paid vacations, if these goals are met. Management believes that Advanced Circuits’ emphasis on sharing rewards and creating a positive work environment has led to increased loyalty. As a result, Advanced Circuits plans on continuing to focus on similar programs to maintain this competitive advantage.

Research and Development

Advanced Circuits engages in continual research and development activities in the ordinary course of business to update or strengthen its order processing, production and delivery systems. By engaging in these activities, Advanced Circuits expects to maintain and build upon the competitive strengths from which it benefits currently. Research and development expenses were not material in each of the years 2011, 2010 and 2009.

Customers

Advanced Circuits’ focus on customer service and product quality has resulted in a broad base of customers in a variety of end markets, including industrial, consumer, telecommunications, aerospace/defense, biotechnology and electronics manufacturing. These customers range in size from large, blue-chip manufacturers to small, not-for-profit university engineering departments. The following table sets forth management’s estimate of Advanced Circuits’ approximate customer breakdown by industry sector for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009:

 

Industry Sector

   2011  Customer
Distribution
    2010  Customer
Distribution
    2009  Customer
Distribution
 

Electrical Equipment and Components

     30     29     33

Measuring Instruments

     8     10     13

Electronics Manufacturing Services

     19     18     15

Engineer Services

     8     10     5

Industrial and Commercial Machinery

     10     6     8

Business Services

     1     1     2

Wholesale Trade-Durable Goods

     1     1     1

Educational Institutions

     8     7     8

Transportation Equipment

     9     8     10

All Other Sectors Combined

     6     10     5
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

     100     100     100
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

18


Table of Contents

Management estimates that over 90% of its orders are generated from existing customers. Moreover, approximately two-thirds of Advanced Circuits’ orders in each of the years 2011, 2010 and 2009 were delivered within five days (not including CEI orders.)

Sales and Marketing

Advanced Circuits has established a “consumer products” marketing strategy to both acquire new customers and retain existing customers. Advanced Circuits uses initiatives such as direct mail postcards, web banners, aggressive pricing specials and proactive outbound customer call programs as part of this strategy. Advanced Circuits spends approximately 1% of net sales each year on its marketing initiatives and advertising and has 44 employees dedicated to its marketing and sales efforts. These individuals are organized geographically and each is responsible for a region of North America. The sales team takes a systematic approach to placing sales calls and receiving inquiries and, on average, will place over 250 outbound sales calls and receive between 160 and 200 inbound phone inquiries per day. Beyond proactive customer acquisition initiatives, management believes a substantial portion of new customers are acquired through referrals from existing customers. In addition, other customers are acquired over the internet where Advanced Circuits generates over 90% of its orders from its website.

Once a new client is acquired, Advanced Circuits offers an easy to use customer-oriented website and proprietary online design and review tools to ensure high levels of retention. By maintaining contact with its customers to ensure satisfaction with each order, Advanced Circuits believes it has developed strong customer loyalty, as demonstrated by over 90% of its orders being received from existing customers. Included in each customer order is an Advanced Circuits pre-paid “bounce-back” card on which a customer can evaluate Advanced Circuits’ services and send back any comments or recommendations. Each of these cards is read by senior members of management, and Advanced Circuits adjusts its services to respond to the requests of its customer base.

Substantially all revenue is derived from sales within the United States.

Advanced Circuits, due to the volume of prototype and quick turn sales, had a negligible amount in firm backlog orders at December 31, 2011 and 2010.

Competition

There are currently an estimated 250 active domestic PCB manufacturers. Advanced Circuits’ competitors differ amongst its products and services.

Competitors in the prototype and quick-turn PCBs production industry include larger companies as well as small domestic manufacturers. The three largest independent domestic prototype and quick-turn PCB manufacturers in North America are DDI Corp., TTM Technologies, Inc. and Viasystems Group, Inc. Though each of these companies produces prototype PCBs to varying degrees, in many ways they are not direct competitors with Advanced Circuits. In recent years, each of these firms has primarily focused on producing boards with greater complexity in response to the off shoring of low and medium layer count technology to Asia. Compared to Advanced Circuits, prototype and quick-turn PCB production accounts for much smaller portions of each of these firm’s revenues. Further, these competitors often have much greater customer concentrations and a greater portion of sales through large electronics manufacturing services intermediaries. Beyond large, public companies, Advanced Circuits’ competitors include numerous small, local and regional manufacturers, often with revenues under $20 million that have long-term customer relationships and typically produce both prototype and quick-turn PCBs and production PCBs for small OEMs and EMS companies. The competitive factors in prototype and quick-turn production PCBs are response time, quality, error-free production and customer service. Competitors in the long lead-time production PCBs generally include large companies, including Asian manufacturers, where price is the key competitive factor.

New market entrants into prototype and quick-turn production PCBs confront substantial barriers including significant investments in equipment, highly skilled workforce with extensive engineering knowledge and compliance with environmental regulations. Beyond these tangible barriers, Advanced Circuits’ management believes that its network of customers, established over the last two decades, would be very difficult for a competitor to replicate.

 

19


Table of Contents

Suppliers

Advanced Circuits’ raw materials inventory is small relative to sales and must be regularly and rapidly replenished. Advanced Circuits uses a just-in-time procurement practice to maintain raw materials inventory at low levels. Additionally, Advanced Circuits has established consignment relationships with several vendors allowing it to pay for raw materials as used. Because it provides primarily lower-volume quick-turn services, this inventory policy does not hamper its ability to complete customer orders. Raw material costs constituted approximately 17.8%, 17.9% and 16.9% of net sales for each of the fiscal years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

The primary raw materials that are used in production are core materials, such as copper clad layers of glass and chemical solutions, and copper and gold for plating operations, photographic film and carbide drill bits. Multiple suppliers and sources exist for all materials. Adequate amounts of all raw materials have been available in the past, and Advanced Circuits’ management believes this will continue in the foreseeable future. Advanced Circuits works closely with its suppliers to incorporate technological advances in the raw materials they purchase. Advanced Circuits does not believe that it has significant exposure to fluctuations in raw material prices. The fact that price is not the primary factor affecting the purchase decision of many of Advanced Circuits’ customers has allowed management to historically pass along a portion of raw material price increases to its customers. Advanced Circuits does not knowingly purchase material originating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or adjoining countries.

Intellectual Property

Advanced Circuits seeks to protect certain proprietary technology by entering into confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements with its employees, consultants and customers, as needed, and generally limits access to and distribution of its proprietary information and processes. Advanced Circuits’ management does not believe that patents are critical to protecting Advanced Circuits’ core intellectual property, but, rather, its effective and quick execution of fabrication techniques, its website FreeDFM.comTM and its highly skilled workforce are the primary factors in maintaining its competitive position.

Advanced Circuits uses the following brand names: FreeDFM.comTM, 4pcb.comTM, 4PCB.comTM, 33each.comTM, barebonespcb.comTM and Advanced CircuitsTM. These trade names have strong brand equity and are material to Advanced Circuits’ business.

Regulatory Environment

Advanced Circuits’ manufacturing operations and facilities are subject to evolving federal, state and local environmental and occupational health and safety laws and regulations. These include laws and regulations governing air emissions, wastewater discharge and the storage and handling of chemicals and hazardous substances. Management believes that Advanced Circuits is in compliance, in all material respects, with applicable environmental and occupational health and safety laws and regulations. New requirements, more stringent application of existing requirements, or discovery of previously unknown environmental conditions may result in material environmental expenditures in the future. Advanced Circuits has been recognized three times for exemplary environmental compliance as it was awarded the Denver Metro Wastewater Reclamation District Gold Award for the years 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Employees

As of December 31, 2011, Advanced Circuits employed 397 persons. Of these employees, there were 44 in sales and marketing, 8 in information technology, 16 in accounting and finance, 45 in engineering, 18 in shipping and maintenance, 258 in production and 8 in management. None of Advanced Circuits’ employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements. Advanced Circuits believes its relationship with its employees is good.

American Furniture

Overview

American Furniture, headquartered in Ecru, Mississippi, is a manufacturer of upholstered furniture sold to large-scale furniture distributors and retailers. American Furniture operates almost exclusively in the promotional upholstered segment of the furniture industry which is characterized by affordable prices, standard designs and immediate availability to retail consumers. American Furniture was founded in 1998. The current management team has been in place since 2004. American Furniture’s products are adapted from established designs in the following categories: (i) stationary, (ii) motion, (iii) recliner and (iv) other related products including accent tables and rugs. American Furniture’s products are manufactured from common components and offer proven select fabric options, providing manufacturing efficiency and resulting in limited design risk.

 

20


Table of Contents

For the full fiscal years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, American Furniture had net sales of approximately $105.3 million, $136.9 million and $142.0 million and operating income (loss) of ($35.2 million), ($37.1 million) and $6.5 million, respectively. American Furniture had total assets of $30.0 million, $78.3 million and $115.8 million at December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Net sales from American Furniture represented 13.5%, 20.6% and 28.2% of our consolidated net sales for the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

History of American Furniture

American Furniture was founded in 1998 with an exclusive focus on promotional upholstered furniture, offering a unique value proposition combining consistent high-quality, attractively priced products and 48-hour quick-ship service. AFM began operations with four assembly lines housed in a 60,000 sq. ft. facility. By 2002, American Furniture had achieved revenues in excess of $120 million and grew operations into a 600,000 sq. ft. facility in Houlka, MS. In 2004, American Furniture was sold by its founder to a group of private investors who installed a new management structure and hired a new executive team and grew American Furniture’s administrative infrastructure in order to build a solid foundation to support future growth. In 2005, American Furniture aggressively pursued Asian sourcing for fabrics and other assorted materials. Today American Furniture is a leading manufacturer of promotional upholstered furniture operating from an approximately 1.1 million sq. ft. manufacturing and warehouse facility.

For the year ended December 31, 2011 net sales at American Furniture declined $31.6 million, which represents a 23% decline over 2010 sales. In addition, write downs to goodwill, other intangible assets and property, and equipment totaled $27.8 million and $38.8 million in the years 2011 and 2010, respectively. In all cases, the write downs were triggered by a significant deterioration in American Furniture’s operations and profitability caused by the unprecedented drop in the promotional furniture market and demand for its product. The combination of increased unemployment, together with significant decreases in home purchases, availability of consumer credit and rising fuel costs has created the worst market for promotional furniture sales over the last two years than has been experienced over the last two decades.

During 2011, American Furniture implemented a revised standard costing system which required American Furniture to reclassify certain costs between cost of sales and selling, general and administrative expenses. The change in format consists of reclassifying the trucking fleet expenses from selling, general and administrative expenses into cost of sales, as well as re-classifying certain manufacturing related expenses included in rent, insurance, utilities and workers comp from selling, general and administrative costs to cost of sales. Management believes that the format of reporting cost of sales together with the revised standard costing system and the revaluation of standard costs will allow management to react timely to changes in supply costs, product demand and overall price structure going forward, which in turn should eliminate the accumulation of lower margin product and allow for more advantageous product procurement and the proper utilization of available assets. In addition, American Furniture enlisted the assistance of an outside consulting firm in 2011 to assist them in right-sizing its operations in order to operate more efficiently and respond to the significantly changed promotional furniture marketplace. To that end, American Furniture has begun the process of outsourcing delivery and is eliminating its Trucking operations as well as sub-contracting its frame cutting process.

We believe that with the impairment charges behind them, the elimination of the trucking division and frame cutting shop and the activation and optics supplied by the new standard costing system and associated reporting, American Furniture is in a better position operate more efficiently than it has been over the last two years. American Furniture is poised to improve its product margin that has declined over the past two years and is better situated to absorb available market share, where it makes economic sense in a troubled market, with the backing of Compass as their creditor and majority owner.

We acquired a controlling interest in American Furniture on August 31, 2007.

Industry

AFM is a manufacturer of upholstered furniture serving the promotional segment of the U.S. furniture industry. Overall conditions for the furniture industry have been difficult over the past two years. New housing starts are down significantly and consumers continue to be faced with general economic uncertainty fueled by deteriorating consumer credit markets, rising fuel costs and lagging consumer confidence as a result of erratic financial markets. All of this has significantly impacted big ticket consumer purchases such as furniture over the last several years.

AFM participates largely in the promotional upholstered furniture industry. Within the U.S. residential retail furniture marketplace, products are typically positioned in the “promotional”, “good”, “better”, or “best” category. The scale of the categories is intended to reflect an increasing level of quality, appearance and corresponding price. At the wholesale level,

 

21


Table of Contents

the promotional segment of the upholstered furniture industry we believe accounts for $3.4 billion in sales. Promotional upholstered furniture manufacturers typically offer a limited range of products in a discrete number of styles and/or designs, allowing immediate delivery to retail customers at well-established retail price points. Specifically, promotional upholstered furniture is generally priced by product at the retail level from $99 for recliners and up to $1,500 for motion sectionals.

The popularity of promotional furniture is attributable to (i) the segment’s consistent product quality (based on focused manufacturing on a few key furniture pieces), and (ii) its value pricing, which appeals to the broadest cross-section of the furniture consumers.

AFM competes exclusively in the promotional segment, selling upholstered furniture in both the stationary and motion categories. In the retail furniture landscape, promotional furniture can be a growing catalyst of floor traffic and sales volumes for mass market furniture retailers. Recurring promotional programs have often become core to retailer strategies given its immediate availability to customers and just-in-time strategies employed within the industry which limit retailer inventory requirements.

Within the wholesale market, wholesale shipments from Asian suppliers, we believe, have grown steadily as a percent of total wholesale shipments. Asian upholstered imports have grown significantly in the past ten years. We believe their impact on AFM has been far less than the industry as a whole within the promotional upholstered furniture, due to the low price points and resulting shipping costs as a percent of a piece’s total value.

Off-shore Imports

Furniture manufactured in Asia emerged as an important driver of the U.S. residential furniture market beginning in the mid-1990s. While off-shore manufacturers, particularly Chinese and Vietnamese manufacturers, have affected the entire industry, the import trend, has impacted different segments of the industry at varying levels.

Case-goods and metal furniture have proven to be more susceptible to Asian competition than upholstered furniture, due to the stack ability and assembly characteristics, resulting in efficient freight consolidation. Upholstered furniture cannot be broken down and shipped efficiently to the U.S. such that the resulting freight costs tend to outweigh the labor and material savings achieved through offshore manufacturing. As a result, domestic upholstered manufacturers have largely managed to compete effectively against Asian competitors when compared to other segments of the furniture industry. In addition, manufacturers in the promotional segment of the upholstered industry are even further insulated from offshore competition due not only to overall freight costs but also freight costs when compared to wholesale price of the product together with the prolonged lead-times to retailers and end customers in a market segment characterized by very short lead-times and immediate delivery to the end consumer.

Retail price points in the promotional segment of the upholstered industry range from $99 - $1,500, whereas shipping costs from Asia on a per piece basis are generally in excess of $100 per piece ($3,000 - $4,000) per standard 40 foot container not including domestic shipping and insurance costs.

In addition to the increased cost, lead times also hinder Asian manufacturers’ ability to effectively compete in the promotional upholstered industry. As mentioned previously, retailers use promotional furniture to drive store traffic and provide immediate delivery to the end-user of value-priced, quality upholstered furniture products. AFM aims to ship customer orders 48 hours following receipt of an order with delivery occurring 1 – 3 days later depending on the customers’ location within the U.S. Asian manufacturers typically require at least 50 days (or 7 – 8 weeks depending on business days) from order receipt to customer delivery, resulting in a significant amount of increased inventory management and advertising planning in order to effectively source upholstered product from overseas manufacturers.

In spite of these drawbacks, recently we have experienced more competition over the past several years from upholstered Asian imports in the more expensive motion product category. Asian manufacturers have demonstrated an ability to create a high quality motion product at a cost that maintains a competitive price point even with the added shipping costs.

Products and Services

AFM manufactures two basic categories of promotional upholstered products, stationary and motion. Stationary products include sofas, loveseats and sectionals, these products accounted for approximately 75%, 70% and 70% of sales in fiscal 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Motion products include single rocking recliner chairs, sofas with reclining end seats, loveseats with seats that rock together or separately and reclining sectionals with storage compartments. Motion and reclining products contributed approximately 23%, 25% and 28% of fiscal 2011, 2010 and 2009 gross sales, respectively. Beginning in 2005, AFM added a line of imported rugs and accent tables to its product mix to provide customers with complimentary accessory offering to AFM’s core furniture lines. For 2011, 2010 and 2009, accent tables and other miscellaneous revenue accounted for approximately 2%-5% of gross sales. AFM’s core product offerings with average retail prices are summarized below:

28 styles of stationary sofas, loveseats and chairs - $299 - $499

 

22


Table of Contents

15 styles of recliners - $99 - $399

5 styles of motion sofas - $499 - $599

5 styles of stationary sectionals - Up to $799

1 style of motion sectional - $999 - $1,399

AFM’s products utilize common components and frames with limited fabric options, allowing AFM to reproduce established styles at value prices. Since its inception, AFM has continuously introduced new styles which typically replace older designs and are primarily slight variations to existing products. AFM builds its products to stock and maintains adequate inventory levels to facilitate shipment to customers within 48 hours of an order. AFM’s quick-ship strategy allows customers to better manage inventory and product promotions, yet maintain the ability to provide immediate availability to retail customers, a key attribute within the promotional furniture segment of the furniture industry.

Product Development

AFM can re-engineer a new design, create a prototype and begin to solicit customer feedback within two weeks. AFM carefully controls its product line such that new styles typically replace older designs. As a result, AFM requires approximately 60 days to 90 days to wind-down a discontinued line and begin shipping truckload quantities of new designs to customers.

Manufacturing

AFM utilizes an assembly-line manufacturing process with a four day production cycle divided into four functions, cutting, sewing, backfill and upholstery. Employees are specialized by function and are compensated on a piece-rate basis. The limited number of styles and designs minimizes scheduling and line changes and each function is simplified by the use of common components. AFM uses one standard seat spring, one standard back spring and one standard cushion in each category of upholstery. AFM’s piece-rate compensation plan and streamlined manufacturing process combine to give AFM a low cost structure. Prior to 2009, American Furniture utilized pre-assembled cut and sewn fabric kits for approximately 20% of its upholstered furniture. Theses fabric kits replace the cutting and sewing function in the manufacturing process. Over the last two years AFM has increased the use of these fabric kits and as of December 31, 2011. Management estimates that over 90% of the upholstered furniture that it manufactures uses the imported cut and sewn fabric kit. The use of these fabric kits reduces the labor component related to the cutting and sewing process in-house. Theses fabric kits are imported from Asia. American Furniture will eliminate its in-house frame cutting operations in 2012. The company is currently implementing this strategy and we expect that almost 100% of the frames for upholstered furniture will be cut by third parties by early to mid March 2012.

AFM currently delivers the majority of its products through a combination of its in-house trucking fleet and third-party freight service providers. Freight costs are generally paid by the customer, including fuel surcharges. AFM utilized third-party freight providers for approximately 70% of its customer shipments in 2011 and 2010 compared to approximately 50% or lower in prior years. We estimate that this saved approximately $1.0 million in 2010 and 2011 in overall freight costs when this strategy was first instituted. American Furniture will eliminate its in-house trucking operations in 2012. The company is currently implementing this strategy and we expect that almost 100% of deliveries will be sub-contracted by March 31, 2012.

Competitive Strengths

We believe that AFM is among the lowest-cost domestic manufacturers of promotional upholstered furniture. AFM maintains a competitive cost basis through an assembly-line production model and build-to-stock strategy. Specifically, AFM generates economies of scale through:

 

   

Long runs of a limited number of standardized frames;

 

   

The application of common components throughout the entire production line; and

 

   

A standard offering of only two to four fabric options per frame.

In addition, management has aligned AFM’s high-volume manufacturing strategy with a piece-rate incentive structure for its direct labor force. This structure drives workforce productivity. The incentive system also provides floor personnel with the opportunity to earn annual compensation at or above local standards, thereby facilitating AFM’s recruiting and retention efforts.

 

23


Table of Contents

AFM’s efficient build-to-stock manufacturing operation facilitates AFM’s strategy of offering its customers shipment of product within 48 hours of order receipt. In turn, AFM’s customers are able to offer their retail customers quality, value-priced, upholstered furniture for immediate delivery upon the day of sale, while only maintaining limited quantities of product inventory.

AFM serves a diverse base of approximately 650 customers. Within its broader customer base, AFM specifically targets independent furniture retailers at the national, multi-regional and regional levels. AFM’s value proposition and the ability to ship any product within 48 hours, is highly valued by this segment of the marketplace that focuses broadly on demographic segments that demand immediate delivery of popular styles at competitive prices.

Barriers to Significant Asian Competition

The availability of low-cost Asian products has had a far-reaching impact on the broader home furnishings market in the United States over the past ten years, contrasted to manufacturers serving other segments. Until recently, AFM has had minimal exposure to off-shore competition due to the following:

 

   

AFM’s efficient, low-cost production model;

 

   

Mass retailers’ short lead-time demands and unwillingness to accept excess inventory risk; and

 

   

High costs (e.g., freight, damage, shrink) of shipping upholstered furniture direct from Asia.

Recently, we have begun to see more competition in the motion product category from imported Asian product. These products typically offer customers better value in terms of construction and price when compared to our motion product. Our margin for motion product has typically been less than stationary.

Business Strategies

 

   

Increase profit with new and existing customers - While AFM currently supplies many of the top furniture retailers, AFM believes it can further augment its customer base and is pursuing new business opportunities with selected national and regional furniture retailers, as well as in other channels, including Rent-To-Own (“RTO”) and mass merchandisers. In addition, many existing customers currently purchase only a portion of AFM’s product line, representing an opportunity for AFM to increase sales to existing customers by augmenting customers’ entire promotional product line. In order to focus additional attention to major customers and expand product–line sell-through to these customers, AFM added significant infrastructure to its sales and marketing organization since 2005, increasing its sales representative network while also subdividing sales territories to allow representatives to focus more closely on the expansion of existing relationships and the addition of new customers.

 

   

Product development - AFM’s merchandising strategy focuses on satisfying the changing needs of retailers and consumers in a manner that meets AFM’s production strategy. AFM’s management and sales staff monitor the furniture market to identify new trends and popular styles at higher price points. AFM subsequently ensures that it can cost effectively replicate a new style with standardized components and limited cover options, after which AFM will build a prototype to determine if the product can be reproduced at acceptable margin levels.

 

   

Pursue cost savings initiatives - Aggressively pursue expense reduction, cost cutting programs and cash preservation initiatives throughout all parts of its business. The 2012 goal is to reduce overhead by over $5.0 million.

 

   

Outsource trucking operations - During 2011 American Furniture utilized its in house trucking operations for approximately 50% of its deliveries. The 2012 goal is to outsource 100% of deliveries. This will reduce the fixed portion of the labor and equipment expense and will allow American Furniture the flexibility it needs in a changing marketplace and ultimately reduce costs.

 

   

Sub-contract frame shop - American Furniture is currently sub-contracting or sourcing 100% of its frame cutting. As of January 2, 2012, AFM sub-contracted the cutting of all hardwood frame parts which it had previously done in-house. All other wood frame components have been sourced from outside vendors since the company originated. This change in operation should produce substantial savings in reduced labor, workers compensation insurance and employee benefits as well as provide better quality frame parts at competitive prices.

 

   

Reduce the number of SKUs - American Furniture manufactures a limited number of SKUs in three categories: stationary, recliners and motion. The strategy has been to reduce the number of groups or styles in each category so that the combined active style SKU count does not exceed 500. This has been accomplished and further reductions will take place in 2012.

 

24


Table of Contents
   

Revise kit purchasing - American Furniture, with the help of an outside consultant, has revised the manner in which it orders fabric kits to provide a more efficient flow of kits and reduce the possibility of obsolescence. A process has been developed taking into account rate of sale, sales order rate, customer projections, current inventory levels, delivery lead times and safety stock for each individual SKU. A review is completed no less than weekly by SKU and orders are placed accordingly. This process ties kit acquisition more closely to actual production needs and either increases or decreases the quantity of kits based on demand for the particular SKU.

 

   

Monetize excess stock - Over the last six months, American Furniture has aggressively moved to reduce any excess levels of finished goods and raw materials. This has been done through a series of product promotions that have been successful while not impairing the sales of the current product line. The company developed a new system to monitor each category on an ongoing basis to more quickly identify potential slow-down in specific SKU activity. This process has been integrated with the kit purchasing procedure mentioned above.

Customers

AFM serves a base of approximately 650 customers comprised of retailers and distributors at the regional, multi-regional and national levels. In 2011, 2010 and 2009, AFM’s top 20 customers accounted for approximately 66%, 67% and 62%, respectively, of AFM’s total sales, with the top customer, Value City, accounting for approximately 11%, 23% and 24% of total sales in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Other than this customer, no single customer accounted for more than 8.0% of total sales in 2011, 2010 or 2009. JC Penney accounted for 10% of total sales in 2011. Sales to Value City, American Furniture’s largest customer, decreased approximately $20 million in 2011 as Value City restructured their core retail product offering and began sourcing product from a small lower cost manufacturer.

Sales and Marketing

AFM has a sales force consisting of independent, outside representatives that exclusively sell AFM’s products in an assigned geographic territory of up to six states. Sales representatives are compensated on a 100% commission basis. AFM maintains two permanent showrooms in High Point, NC and Tupelo, MS, host cities for furniture industry trade shows (High Point in April and October and Tupelo in January and August).

American Furniture’s business is seasonal. Net sales have historically been higher in the period of January through April of each fiscal year. We believe this seasonality is due in part to consumer demand increasing resulting from income tax refunds. Substantially all revenue is derived from sales within the United States.

Marketing at the retail level is typically handled by AFM’s customers. AFM does not advertise specific products on its own, but provides product information and pictures for retailers to include in newspaper and various insert advertisements. AFM’s products are typically included in retailers’ recurring promotional programs as the products drive floor traffic and sales volume due to low price points.

AFM had approximately $8.4 million and $6.1 million in firm backlog orders at December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Competition

AFM competes with selected large national manufacturers that produce and sell promotional products. However, promotional upholstered furniture often represents only a small percentage of revenue for these participants. Also, large diversified manufacturers tend not to place specific emphasis on developing quick-ship capabilities specifically for their promotional offerings. Therefore, AFM competes primarily with several smaller manufacturers that are typically thinly-capitalized, family owned businesses that we believe do not have the capacity, manufacturing capabilities, sourcing expertise or access to capital in order to build critical production volumes. Competition within the segment is largely based on value and delivery lead times, as opposed to product differentiation, providing AFM and its quick-ship capabilities with a key competitive advantage within the industry. AFM’s primary competitors include United Furniture Industries, Albany Industries and Hughes Furniture, Ashley Furniture and Affordable Furniture.

Suppliers

AFM’s top supplier, Independent Furniture Supply (“Independent”), is 50% owned by Mr. Thomas, AFM’s CEO. AFM purchases polyfoam from Independent on an arms-length basis and AFM performs regular audits to verify market pricing. AFM does not have long-term supply contracts with Independent or any other supplier. A majority of AFM’s domestic suppliers are located near AFM due to a concentration of furniture manufacturers in northeastern Mississippi. Several of AFM’s key raw materials, including lumber, plywood and polyfoam, are sourced locally with alternative suppliers available

 

25


Table of Contents

at competitive prices, if necessary. In order to continually manage material costs, AFM actively sources products from Asia. AFM imports legs, show wood, chaises, ottomans, correlate chairs, accent tables and the majority of its fabric from China-based suppliers. The prices charged by manufacturers of products such as petro-chemicals and wire rod, which are the primary materials purchased by our suppliers of foam and drawn wire effect the ongoing cost of our raw materials. Raw material cost as a percentage of sales was approximately 69%, 62% and 59% in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Regulatory Environment

AFM’s manufacturing operations, facilities and operations are subject to evolving federal, state and local environmental and occupational health and safety laws and regulations. Such laws and regulations govern air emissions, wastewater discharge and the storage and handling of chemicals and hazardous substances. AFM believes that it is in compliance, in all material respects, with applicable environmental and occupational health and safety laws and regulations. New requirements, more stringent application of existing requirements, or discovery of previously unknown environmental conditions could result in material environmental expenditures in the future.

Employees

As of December 31, 2011, American Furniture employed 527 persons. Of these employees, 464 were in production, shipping and purchasing with the remainder serving in executive, administrative office and other capacities. None of AFM’s employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements. We believe that AFM’s relationship with its employees is good.

CamelBak

Overview

CamelBak, headquartered in Petaluma, California, is a diversified hydration and personal protection platform, offering

products for outdoor, recreation and military applications. CamelBak offers a broad range of recreational / military hydration packs, reusable water bottles, specialized military gloves and performance accessories. As the leading supplier of hydration products to specialty outdoor, cycling and military retailers, CamelBak maintains the #1 market share position in domestic recreational markets (80%-85%), per management estimates, for hands-free hydration packs and the #1 market share position for reusable water bottles in specialty channels (30%) per management estimates. CamelBak is also the hydration pack of choice for the warfighter, with an estimated 85% market share in post-issue hydration packs. Over its more than 20-year history, CamelBak has developed a reputation as the preferred supplier for the hydration needs of the most demanding athletes and warfighters. Across its markets, CamelBak is respected for its innovation, leadership and authenticity.

For the full fiscal years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010, CamelBak had net sales of approximately $141.3 million and $122.2 million, and pro-forma operating income of $18.0 million and $13.4 million, respectively. CamelBak had total assets of $263.8 million, $78.3 million and $115.8 million at December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Net sales from CamelBak (from acquisition date to December 31, 2011) represented 5.5% of our consolidated net sales.

History of CamelBak

Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Petaluma, California, the company initially gained a following among mountain bikers in the early 1990’s through its first product, the ThermoBak™. As the company grew among this base of users, its products continued to gain acceptance within other arenas where participants needed easy access to water to achieve optimal performance in their activity.

The hands-free feature of CamelBak’s products proved to be appealing to outdoor sports enthusiasts and critical to others, including the U.S. Military. After successfully developing the hands-free hydration category, the company in 2006, recruited new management, including industry veteran and Board member Sally McCoy in the role of CEO, and acquired Southwest Motorsports (since rebranded CamelBak Gloves). With a strong market presence in hydration packs, the management team focused on continued expansion into adjacent markets and developing and executing on a consistent strategy of innovation. Since this time, CamelBak has steadily grown sales and earnings and has enhanced its relationships with suppliers to strengthen its supply chain, reengineered its product distribution capabilities and tightly controlled operating expenses to match the needs of the business.

In 2006, CamelBak expanded its recreational business into the fast growing bottle category. The company’s initial launch of the innovative Better Bottle™ was followed by numerous successful bottle product introductions for everyday users, road cyclists, kids and recreational enthusiasts. CamelBak was first to market with an entirely BPA-free plastic bottle product line.

 

26


Table of Contents

We purchased a majority interest in CamelBak on August 24, 2011.

Industry

Recreation Market - With over 100 million participants, the outdoor recreational activity market represents a large, attractive and stable group of consumers. CamelBak’s legacy products have historically been focused on a subset of this group, consisting of cyclists, mountain bikers and other passionate outdoor enthusiasts who tend to be loyal and consistent buyers of premium and performance-enhancing offerings. CamelBak’s core customers are typically outdoor enthusiasts who exhibit very high participation rates and frequent purchasing behavior. In addition to CamelBak’s legacy consumer group, the company has increasingly used its brand authenticity, credibility and broadening product portfolio to reach athletes in adjacent sporting activities.

Long-term growth in the hydration and personal protection industry is driven by a number of factors. Consumer recognition of personal hydration’s importance to health and well-being has been a growing and enduring trend, reflected by the proliferation of bottled water and functional beverages. The importance of water as a healthy choice has become even more prominent as a key component to healthy living. Further, people are increasingly aware of the effects of even minimal dehydration on multiple functions of the body, including brain function, digestion, metabolism and skin health. CamelBak’s products have proven their ability to provide greater hydration. An independent study conducted by Pepperdine University found that people utilizing CamelBak’s Bite Valve™ technology consume 24% more than those using single serving disposable bottled water or less innovative products. In addition, recently there has been a reduction in disposable bottled water consumption in the U.S., primarily as a result of price and the wide-spread awareness of the negative environmental impact of disposable water bottles. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, the economy was the primary cause of the decrease in U.S. disposable bottled water sales in 2008 and 2009. With respect to the environment, the disposable water bottle’s environmentally harmful lifecycle is generating significant backlash. The reliance on oil in the production and transportation of the bottles and the fact that 69% of bottles are not recycled is driving consumers to seek alternatives to disposable bottles. Further, there are a number of government mandates forcing the elimination of disposable bottles. Nationwide, local governments are enacting these curbs to combat the cost and waste of disposable bottles. In recent years, governments of all levels have received scrutiny for fiscal irresponsibility and a number of municipalities have launched initiatives focused on curbing disposable water bottles in their communities. In 2006, a San Francisco investigation revealed that the city spent over $500,000 per year on bottled water. This revelation triggered a nationwide analysis of government spending on bottled water with public funds.

U.S. Government & Military Market - The U.S. defense budget has increased dramatically in the last decade in response to terrorism attacks at home and increased state and non-state threats abroad. Since 1998, Department of Defense (“DoD”) spending has increased 100% primarily as a result of the two major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 2011 DoD budget has been impacted somewhat by the recently passed Continuing Resolution, but remains the largest defense budget of all time with a total request of $708 billion, of which approximately $159 billion is set aside for overseas contingency operations (“OCO”) funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. By way of comparison, 2010’s budget was $691 billion, with a $528 billion base budget and the remaining $163 billion used for OCO. The 2011 budget maintained the Quadrennial Defense Review’s (“QDR”) clear focus on individual warfighters and equipping them for current combat and protecting them against future threats.

Recently, the DoD released its 2012 budget request which calls for an increase in base budget spending to $553 billion, with an additional $118 billion dedicated to OCO. The budget estimates released, forecast a modest 0.5% real growth rate for the base budget from 2010 – 2016 and lower planned OCO outlays in 2012 and beyond.

The military acquisition process has responded to the demands of modern warfare which require forces to be more agile and flexible than ever before. This trend has been highlighted by the increased use of multiple funding and procurement mechanisms such as Rapid Fielding Initiatives (“RFI”) and Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement (“JUONS”). These programs provide funding for mission critical operational needs such as IED detection and defeat and lifesaving warfighter equipment purchases without the normal bid and proposal process that can take months and even years to get equipment in the hands of the end user. In addition to responsive procurement contracts such as the RFI, the military has continued a gradual decentralization of purchasing which allows decision makers closer to the front line to select what specific items need to be acquired for a unit. Unit and individual equipment purchases are made primarily through U.S. Government Services Administration (“GSA”) contracts or at military exchange and supply locations. Warfighters and their families frequently purchase supplemental gear that is superior to standard issue products. CamelBak is well positioned to benefit from continued decentralized purchasing.

 

27


Table of Contents

Products and Services

CamelBak focuses on offering high quality, industry leading hydration and performance equipment.

The company’s products fall into four key categories:

Hydration Packs - CamelBak’s heritage and legacy is in hydration packs and the company maintains the broadest and deepest line of packs in the industry. CamelBak’s core hydration product consists primarily of an easily cleaned and filled polyurethane reservoir, a connecting tube and a self-sealing mouthpiece, or “bite-valve,” which facilitates simple and intuitive drinking. The CamelBak hydration system allows users to conveniently carry one to three liters of water, which can be easily accessed without interruption of the user’s task or activity. The system is most often sold as an integrated backpack or waist-pack, which is uniquely designed for a specific use, such as biking, running or military applications. Hydration packs represented 43.9% of CamelBak’s gross sales in the twelve months ended December 31, 2011.

Recreation Packs

Having created the hands-free hydration category, CamelBak continues to be the dominant market leader in the recreational sector since its inception. After starting with a mountain biking product, CamelBak developed a host of other types of biking hydration packs that are designed to match specific types of biking. The company sells classic cycling packs that are lightweight and streamlined. CamelBak also sells larger more durable packs designed for long off-road rides and a Downhill/Freeride line designed for specific types of mountain biking activities. By starting with a focused line and expanding it to cover many different types of biking activities, CamelBak has created the deepest, broadest line of hydration packs in the industry.

As CamelBak extended its packs to cover different biking niches, top athletes from other outdoor sports began to clamor for product. To meet this demand, the company has created lines that cater to the diverse set of outdoor athletes:

 

   

Hike / Alpine consists of lightweight packs with extra back panel padding and air flow for breathability

 

   

Ski / Snowboard has attachments for helmets, boards and shovels

 

   

Multi-sport are ultra-light and include wearable hydration units for use in almost any athletic activity

 

   

Run includes hip packs designed to hold as many as two water bottles in a remarkably stable set up

These customized solutions have all been developed with an eye towards enhancing the performance of each activity’s respective athletes. That customization is part of the innovative difference that allows CamelBak to differentiate itself in a competitive market.

Military Packs

CamelBak sells a wide selection of category leading military packs. Management estimates the company has in excess of 85% market share in post-issue military hydration packs. It is also one of only a few brands sold to U.S. Military personnel that is allowed to prominently display the brand name on the outside of the product. The packs include features such as easy armor integration and extreme durability appropriate for use in the harshest conditions.

Bottles - In 2006, CamelBak parlayed its credibility in hands-free hydration and expanded into bottles. The company introduced the Better Bottle™ which incorporated a number of features that quickly established it as a best-in-class hydration solution. These features include: (i) the patented spill-proof Bite Valve, (ii) the first insulated stainless steel water bottle and (iii) in 2008, the first all BPA-free line of plastic water bottles.

The success of the Better Bottle™ led the company to design a complete line of bottles that would mirror the pack line’s legacy of customization. CamelBak developed a line for children, which included bite valves that have to be removed from the inside of the bottle to prevent choking. The company also released the Podium® line, which includes features such as the patented Jet Valve™.

The company’s bottle offering has continued to evolve to meet the specific demands of consumers. These demands have included activity-based needs such as customized cycling bottles. They have also included health concerns, including the consumer backlash against BPA. CamelBak recognized this concern early and became the first to offer an entire line of BPA-free hard plastic bottles in May of 2008.

The company’s most recent innovation is the Groove™, which provides users the ability to filter water in any place at any time through its integrated straw assembly. Users simply fill the bottle with tap water, screw the cap on and start sipping. The integrated plant-based carbon filter reduces chlorine taste and odors found in tap water thus improving taste and eliminating the desire to purchase disposable bottles of water. Bottles represented 30.9% of CamelBak’s gross sales for the twelve months ended December 31, 2011.

 

28


Table of Contents

Gloves - The evolution of CamelBak gloves parallels that of the pack business in the Government / Military channel. Initially created for pit crews in the auto racing market, members of elite squads who became aware of the product were impressed with its dexterity and durability. Following this unofficial endorsement, members of the U.S. Armed Forces began requesting CamelBak gloves. The gloves are highly-technical and difficult to produce, with some styles requiring 44 individual pieces for the assembly of the final product. Today, CamelBak gloves are exclusively a Government / Military product, as their technical characteristics exceed that which a non-military user would desire. Gloves represented 13.8% of the company’s gross sales for the twelve months ended December 31, 2011.

Accessories - CamelBak offers various accessories to complement its hydration systems. Accessories are available for each product line and include items that are made to enhance hydration performance and others for maintenance or replacement parts.

CamelBak’s goal is to reinvent the way that individual athletes, warfighters and every day users hydrate and perform. To that aim, the company has developed a number of products that help to further enhance the already innovative way that its products deliver water:

 

 

Elixir is a flavored electrolyte tablet that is designed to work in concert with CamelBak’s reservoirs. Elixir improves alertness and hydration.

 

 

Flow meter is an intelligent hydration gauge that monitors the amount of water consumed. This allows the user to keep better track of his or her water usage and stay optimally hydrated as well as understand what amount remains in the reservoir.

CamelBak products are known for their high quality and durability. The company provides products to help maintain this durability and offers replacement parts in the rare instance that the products cease to perform at the optimal levels:

 

 

Reservoir cleaning kits are designed to optimally clean the reservoirs that are inside of each pack. Properly cleaning and drying the reservoirs promotes longevity.

 

 

Replacement reservoirs are made for each pack. This ensures that in the rare case that a reservoir must be replaced, the athlete or warfighter does not need to replace the entire pack but can easily swap out the necessary components. Many users also like to have multiple reservoirs.

In addition to recreational accessories, the company offers a specialized line associated with its military products. These accessories help enhance the performance of military products by adding resistance to chemical and biological agents or allowing connection to standard issue gas masks. For example, the HydroLink allows warfighters to replace their bite valve with a connector, allowing them to hydrate while wearing their gas mask. Accessories accounted for 11.4% of CamelBak’s gross sales for the twelve months ended December 31, 2011.

Competitive Strengths

Leading Brand Recognition & Market Share - CamelBak believes it has a #1 market share in the following areas: (i) recreational hands- free hydration packs, (ii) reusable water bottles for specialty channels and (iii) post-issue hydration packs for the U.S. military. The company enjoys outstanding awareness and a reputation for superior performance with consumers, retailers and warfighters. For example, within the Armed Forces, CamelBak is one of only a few companies allowed to prominently display its brand name on active military products.

Preferred Partner - CamelBak is a preferred partner to leading retailers and the military. The company is a supplier to leading national specialty and sporting goods retailers, including REI, EMS, Dick’s Sporting Goods and The Sports Authority. In addition, CamelBak does business in over 400 military retail exchanges.

Business Strategies

Introducing Technically Superior Products in Core Categories - The company’s core categories include hydration packs, bottles and warfighter protection products, and CamelBak’s mission is to continuously reinvent the way people hydrate and perform. To meet this goal, the company will continue to create innovative, technical solutions that exceed the demands of its customers. The company’s product pipeline for its core customers remains robust.

Expanding Product Suite in Everyday Hydration to Reach New Customers and Channels - The CamelBak brand is synonymous with personal hydration, and this credibility grants the company permission to enter broader aspects of hydration. The company is committed to continuing to broaden its portfolio of personal hydration solutions to reach new customers, and, under the leadership of Ms. McCoy, has proven that it can extend its brand beyond hard-core athletes. For example, the company has successfully reached new consumers and channels through its water bottle product line,

 

29


Table of Contents

which offers the features desired by its core customer base of performance athletes to the everyday customer shopping at Target. As the company continues to expand its relevance to everyday users, its authenticity will allow the company to enter other areas such as purification and other products.

Broadening International Opportunities - Management believes there is significant potential to expand its international sales in the consumer market. Currently, CamelBak’s recreational business is sold through a network of approximately 55 foreign distributors. With improved distribution in the recreational market, the company would have a number of opportunities to expand throughout Europe, Asia and South America.

Penetrating Select Areas of Specialty Retail - The company aspires to build a product portfolio that shapes the way consumers and warfighters perform across all activities. To that aim, CamelBak has made significant strides introducing new products that target activities outside of its core biking and hiking audience. Past examples include multi-sport enthusiasts and runners. The company targeted the multi-sport category with highly- functional wearable hydration, which consists of a wearable shirt with built in hydration pack that allows enthusiasts to hydrate hands-free without a traditional pack.

The company keeps an open dialogue with the athletes it endorses and is thus able to gain real-time feedback on the products it produces. By learning the needs of these consumers and others, CamelBak is able to identify other areas to develop ground-breaking solutions. As CamelBak continues to innovate and create new products to serve the needs of more diverse consumers, it will further grow sales to these retailers. As a sports subculture brand, CamelBak is able to migrate to different activities without losing the authenticity and credibility it has developed as a leading product innovator. As examples, skiers and kayakers alike have adopted the brand as their own without even realizing that other sports enthusiasts have done the same.

Research and Development

CamelBak’s hydration products are among the most technically advanced and rigorously engineered in their markets. They are specifically designed to function and perform under diverse and extreme conditions. CamelBak’s research and development effort is at the core of its strategy of product innovation and market leadership. CamelBak’s products feature a combination of innovative design, high-quality materials, and superb functionality and performance elements and are recognized as being the leaders or among the leaders in all of the market segments in which they participate.

CamelBak has a robust core research and development team, which has collectively over 36 years of combined industry experience. In addition to the core engineering group, a large number of other CamelBak staff members, who also use the company’s products, contribute to the research and development effort at various stages. Product development also includes collaborating with customers and field testing. This feedback helps ensure products will meet the company’s demanding standards of excellence as well as the constantly changing needs of end users.

CamelBak’s research and development activities are supported by state-of-the-art engineering software design tools, integrated manufacturing facilities and a performance testing center equipped to ensure product safety, durability and superior performance. The testing center collects data and tests products prior to and after commercial introduction. Research and development costs totaled $2.6 million and $2.2 million during the years 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Customers and Distribution channels

CamelBak offers a unique value proposition for its customers. As an innovative subculture sports brand, CamelBak has the authenticity and credibility to defend market share, command premium prices and leverage into new categories. The brand strength allows retailers to hold prices and thus protect margins. Further, the company’s “Got Your Bak” lifetime warranty speaks to the level of quality and customer service offered. The company’s products, which are sold domestically and internationally, are segmented into two major end markets: Recreational and Government / Military. CamelBak’s powerful product distribution network is comprised of long-standing, entrenched relationships with a diversified set of customers. CamelBak’s top ten customers comprised approximately 31% of gross sales in the twelve-months ended December 31, 2011, with no single customer accounting for greater than 8% of gross sales.

Recreational Distribution - CamelBak markets its hydration and performance products to several channels in the recreational market. Management estimates that the company currently holds in excess of 85% of the market share of the hands-free hydration market. A share this large demonstrates the strength of the brand and the credibility that the products have with consumers. CamelBak invented the category in 1989 and although competitors have introduced a number of similar products, the company has held on to its base.

Recreational–Domestic Distribution: The Recreational–Domestic Division is focused on product distribution through a variety of retail accounts in the United States. Particular emphasis is placed on premium active lifestyle retailers across a broad spectrum of channels, including camping/outdoor, bike, natural foods, housewares, hunting/fishing, paddle sports and surf/skate.

 

30


Table of Contents

The division manages approximately 2,500 retail customers with over 8,000 retail storefronts. Current distribution channels range from specialty bicycle, outdoor, paddle sports, hunting stores and catalogs to large outdoor and sporting goods chains that reach the broader market. Importantly, the company has selectively expanded and diversified its distribution channels over time. Today, notable customers include REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target, Whole Foods Market, The Container Store and The Sports Authority.

The company’s entrance into the reusable bottle category in 2006 resulted in a notable broadening of distribution, as the company made the decision to strategically expand into new channels. While CamelBak maintains limited exposure to mass-merchant retailers, the company recently began selling its reusable bottle products to Target. The company felt it was important to reach an even broader consumer base to further its vision of “obsoleting” bottled water as the most common way to hydrate. The bottle business has also enabled CamelBak to achieve penetration in the college and corporate sponsorship markets.

Recreational–International Distribution: The Recreational–International division is focused on product distribution through outdoor, sporting goods and specialty retailers that are managed through local distributors focused on premier retail accounts. The company maintains an office in Europe to provide oversight of distributor performance, market intelligence and limited supplemental marketing support, including event staffing, trade show management, athlete sponsorships, public relations and market/product intelligence gathering. Order scheduling, fulfillment and logistics support for the company’s international operations are provided from CamelBak’s Petaluma headquarters.

Key international markets include the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Canada, Norway and Korea. As is the case in the United States, the CamelBak brand is widely recognized and respected by enthusiasts and maintains a dominant market share.

Military–Retail Exchange Distribution - Military retail exchanges, including the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (“AAFES”), the Navy Exchange Service Command (“NEXCOM”) and the Marine Corps Exchange (“MXC”), are essentially large retail chains serving the military community. Military personnel, veterans and their families are strongly incentivized to shop at exchanges given that the store markup is typically less than the off base markup from other retailers, exchanges do not charge sales tax and a portion of the exchanges’ earnings often go towards funding expenditures related to the military’s morale, welfare and recreation. Furthermore, the exchanges provide an added benefit to consumers, given the convenience they provide to troops deployed in nearby locations.

The military retail exchanges represent large distribution platforms extending across many different countries. CamelBak sells through approximately 400 locations. CamelBak pioneered the adoption of hands-free hydration systems by U.S. and foreign militaries and is today, we believe, the preferred brand of warfighters. As a result, CamelBak has dominant market share throughout the military retail channel. CamelBak is one of AAFES largest vendors and has a strong, long-term relationship with the retailer.

Government / Military Distribution - In the Government / Military division, CamelBak sells products and accessories related to both hydration and performance. CamelBak continues to expand its Government / Military market by increasing penetration into foreign governments and militaries. A key component of U.S. foreign policy is the replacement of some deployed troops with those of foreign militaries. CamelBak’s success in the U.S. Military carries tremendous credibility abroad, which has enabled the company to achieve meaningful adoption outside the U.S.

Domestic Government / Military Distribution - CamelBak sells its products through a range of domestic Government / Military channels:

 

   

GSA: The GSA provides a channel for all federal government agencies and government end-users to procure items easily. All products sold through the GSA must be pre-approved to get listed on GSA schedules. Once products are listed, thousands of Government / Military units and agencies purchase through this channel knowing that all pricing and legal obligations have already been negotiated and approved.

 

   

Direct Department of Defense Procurement: The U.S. Military will, from time to time, request for proposal a large amount of a given product. In addition, this request can oftentimes require that the product be manufactured with domestic content and other various specific rules. As it relates to CamelBak’s business, the company calls such direct contracts “DFAR” business. This is patterned after the Defense Federal Acquisition

 

31


Table of Contents
 

Regulation (“DFAR”) set of rules used by the government. Selling through the direct government channel entails abiding by specific sourcing guidelines and responding to a solicitation. Typically, a branch of the military will identify a need, issue a solicitation and multiple parties will bid to win the contract. While these orders are intermittent and often large, CamelBak has developed a strong supply chain to deal with these types of orders.

 

   

International Government / Military Distribution - International Sales in the Government / Military is driven by ordinary replenishment and large solicitations that occur on an irregular basis to meet the equipment needs of each individual country. CamelBak has consistently participated in these solicitations with significant historical success.

CamelBak had approximately $29.4 million in firm backlog orders at December 31, 2011 CamelBak expects to fill all these orders in 2012.

Sales and Marketing

CamelBak approaches marketing from a unique point of view that is meant to inspire customers. CamelBak is engaged in small endorsement deals that provide gear to actual users as well as athletes who bike, climb and hike professionally as opposed to entering into large multi-year contracts. Second, the company’s marketing campaign uses photographs and videos shot from a user’s perspective. This photographic style encourages the consumers viewing the ad to imagine they are engaging in the activity shown. This experience serves to promote the inspirational nature of CamelBak’s brand by “liberating people to go further.”

Marketing - CamelBak uses a “two pronged” approach to marketing:

 

   

CamelBak has set out to aggressively pursue new users and expand its customer base while remaining true to its authentic, innovative ideals. Given the customization that has occurred across the company’s product lines, CamelBak created a unique, highly targeted marketing plan to acquire new users for specific products. In the case of Groove™, CamelBak set out to expand its customer base of 25-45 year old women. To that end, the company designed print and web ads with a message that appeals more directly to this group and placed these advertisements in the appropriate women’s lifestyle magazines. The company also has a strong presence on the internet and uses instructional videos and direct marketing through social media sites such as Facebook.

 

   

CamelBak also makes a point to continue cultivating the passionate consumer base that already admires and respects the company and its products. A recent example is the release of the new Antidote™ Reservoir. The company uses a unique marketing approach for different target users. Since these products are geared towards passionate outdoor athletes, CamelBak placed ads in forums including: (i) bicycling and mountain bike magazines, (ii) backpacking and hiking magazines and (iii) internet and social media sites that cater to active men and women.

Sales Organization - CamelBak’s in-house sales team consists of dedicated sales people and customer service employees. The sales organization is strategically aligned by product category/sales channel.

The sales managers split coverage for major national accounts with one team responsible for maintaining and growing sales to established channels and the other for business to larger national retailers and natural foods stores. With an average tenure of 4 years with the company, CamelBak’s sales team maintains enduring and entrenched relationships with each of its customers.

The Recreational–Domestic division manages customers through both an in- house sales management staff and a network of sales agencies consisting of a number of independent sales representatives. The Recreational– International division manages its international customers through local distributors focused on premier retail accounts. The company maintains an office in Europe with two employees to provide oversight.

Competition

CamelBak pioneered the hydration category with the introduction of the hydration pack more than 20 years ago. CamelBak’s brand admiration and customer loyalty, which are driven by its innovative products, have allowed the company to continuously defend its market position in packs. These traits also allowed the company to successfully enter the bottle category where it holds a leading market position.

 

32


Table of Contents

A summary of CamelBak’s competitors in hydration packs, bottles and reservoirs is listed below:

 

Hydration Packs

  

Bottles

  

Reservoirs

Osprey    Nalgene    Platypus
The North Face    SIGG    Hydrapak
DaKine    Nathan Performance Gear    Source
   Polar   
   Kleen Kanteen   
   Contigo   

Across its military product set, CamelBak competes against a wide variety of industry players which include large prime and tier two defense companies, small and mid-sized companies specializing in warfighter equipage and companies focused predominantly on the consumer or materials market with a limited number of defense product offerings. CamelBak is recognized as a high-end supplier in each of its product categories (hydration and gloves). Management believes CamelBak is the leading supplier of post-issue hydration packs with over 85% of the market share and among the leading providers of specialized tactical gloves which are worn by some of the most elite users in the world.

Suppliers

CamelBak’s product manufacturing is based on a dual strategy of in-house manufacturing and strategic alliances with select sub-contractors and vendors. CamelBak operates a scalable, low-cost supply chain, sourcing materials and employing contract manufacturers from across the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Once manufactured, products are shipped directly from overseas manufacturers to CamelBak’s distribution center in San Diego for receiving and stocking and thereafter distributed to retail locations or third-party distributors.

CamelBak has developed an efficient and low-cost supply chain. The company’s deep understanding of military procurement requirements has allowed it to build a flexible network of vendors to reliably meet large military orders on short notice and to shift orders to vendors to be compliant with military requirements for its products. While striving to maximize the profitability of its products, the company is also keenly aware of its corporate responsibility and, thus, holds itself and its vendors to the highest supply chain practices. As a result of the company’s dedication to superior supply chain and manufacturing practices, the U.S. Military’s GSA named CamelBak the “Green Contractor of the Year” in 2009 and MAS Contractor of the Year in 2011.

In recent years, the company has streamlined its operating expenses, tightening cost controls and maintaining a cost structure more in line with the size of its platform. Additionally, the company has driven cost improvements by negotiating prices with vendors using an “open book” policy, in which each vendor’s profit margins, labor rates and material costs are agreed to upfront. This allows the company’s operations group to negotiate reductions in component prices from raw material manufacturers resulting in cost savings that are passed through to CamelBak.

The company’s primary raw materials are fabric, resin, polyurethane film and various resins for which the company and/or its supplier partners receive multiple shipments per week. The company purchases its materials from a combination of domestic and foreign suppliers.

Intellectual Property

Hydration priorities include easy cleaning and filling, freshness and taste, durability, temperature, water purity, leak-proof products and sustainability, all of which improve a customer’s overall hydration experience or enable the customer to perform at high levels. As a reflection of this focus, CamelBak holds 35 active patents and 13 pending patent applications.

Regulatory Environment

Management is not aware of any existing, pending or contingent liabilities that could have a material adverse effect on the company’s business. The company is proactive regarding regulatory issues and is in compliance with all relevant regulations. Management is not aware of any potential environmental issues.

Employees

As of December 31, 2011, CamelBak employed approximately 270 persons. None of CamelBak’s employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements. CamelBak’s relationship with its employees is good.

 

33


Table of Contents

ERGObaby

Overview

ERGObaby, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, is a premier designer, marketer and distributor of baby wearing products and accessories. ERGObaby offers a broad range of wearable baby carriers and related products that are sold through more than 900 retailers and web shops in the United States and internationally in approximately 50 countries.

ERGObaby’s reputation for product innovation, reliability and safety has led to numerous awards and accolades from consumer surveys and publications, including Parenting Magazine, Pregnancy magazine and Wired magazine.

On November 18, 2011 ErgoBaby acquired Orbit Baby for approximately $17.5 million. Founded in 2004 and based in Newark, California, Orbit Baby produces and markets a premium line of stroller travel systems, including car seats, strollers and bassinets that are interchangeable using a patented hub ring.

For the full fiscal years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, ERGObaby had net sales of approximately $44.3 million, $34.5 million and $22.8 million, respectively and pro forma operating income (exclusive of one-time transaction related costs) totaling $8.4 million, $9.4 million and $6.5 million, respectively. ERGObaby had total assets of $96.0 million at December 31, 2011. ERGObaby’s net sales represented 5.7% of our consolidated net sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 and 1.8% of our consolidated net sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 (from acquisition date).

History of ERGObaby

ERGObaby was founded in 2003 by Karin Frost, who previously designed baby carriers following the birth of her son. In its second year of operations, ERGObaby sold 10,500 baby carriers. Within the first six years of operation, ERGObaby had sold over 850,000 baby carriers and in 2011 sold approximately 740,000 baby carriers. During that same time period ERGObaby was named to the “20 Best Products in the Last 20 Years” by Parenting Magazine (2007) and named as a “Must have Baby Item” on The View (2007).

As sales grew, the product line was expanded introducing the Organic, Designer, and Sport and Performance carriers in addition to 12 new accessory lines to accompany the carrier and enhance its capabilities. In 2007, ERGObaby made a strategic decision to establish an operating subsidiary (“EBEU”) in Hamburg, Germany to better serve the European markets.

We purchased a majority interest in ERGObaby on September 16, 2011.

Industry

ERGObaby is part of the large and expanding infant and juvenile products industry. The industry exhibits little seasonality and is somewhat insulated from overall economic trends, as parents view spending on children as largely non-discretionary in nature. Consequently, parents spend consistently on their children, particularly on durable items, such as car seats, strollers, baby carriers, and related items that are viewed as necessities. Further, an emotional component is often a factor in parents’ purchasing decisions, as parents desire to purchase the best and safest products for their children. As a result, parents spend from $8,480 to $23,690 on their child on an annual basis for related housing, food, transportation, clothes, healthcare, daycare and other items, depending on age of the child & annual income. On average, households spent from 12-25 percent of their before-tax income on a child, according to the USDA’s most recent report (May 2011). Similar spending patterns are seen in the UK: In contrast, new parents face outlay of £9,152 during the first 12 months of a child’s life and between the ages of one and four, a child costs an average of about £53,586 – that’s £13,396 a year. Similar spending patterns occur in the UK, where a 2012 study by LV determined that the cost of a child from years 1-4 is 56,562 pounds or 14,140 pounds per year. This total is 2.5% higher than 2011 totals.

According to a Mintel report published in March 2010, estimated 2010 retail dollars spent on baby durables reached approximately $10.3 billion in the U.S., up compared to approximately $9.5 billion in 2004, with a considerably larger market worldwide. The U.S. retail market is expected to continue its growth trajectory through 2014 with an anticipated market size of approximately $12.0 billion.

Demand drivers fueling the growing spending on infant and juvenile products include favorable demographic trends, such as (i) an increasing number of births worldwide; (ii) a high percentage of first time births; (iii) an increasing age of first time mothers and a large percentage of working mothers with increased disposable income; and (iv) an increasing percentage of single child households and two-family households.

 

34


Table of Contents

Given that the child’s safety is paramount, many parents do not want to compromise a baby or child’s safety by purchasing secondhand products to save money. In many cases, when purchasing secondhand, the parent does not know key facts about the product they are buying, such as the age of the product, history of the item, or potential recalls by the manufacturer. Furthermore, the safety standards for the product may have changed since the version being resold, resulting in a product that does not meet the most rigorous safety standards. Consequently, as parents consider purchases of important necessities such as baby durables, they typically favor new products. According to Mintel Research, approximately 83% of baby carrier purchases were first-time purchases, with the remainder being either purchased second hand or borrowed.

Safety influences not only whether parents purchase new or used products, but also which brands parents choose, which consequently impacts pricing and competition within the infant and juvenile products market. In purchases of baby durables, parents often seek well-known brands that offer a sense of comfort regarding a product’s reliability and safety. As a result, brand name and safety certifications can serve as a barrier to entry for competition in the market, as well as allow well-known brands such as ERGObaby to charge a premium.

Wearable Carriers and Baby Wearing Trends - Within the broader market for infant and juvenile products, ERGObaby operates specifically within the market for child mobility and transport products. According to the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (“JPMA”), reported child mobility and transport manufacturer dollar sales, which includes sales of carriers, strollers, travel systems, and related products, totaled approximately $349.1 million in the U.S. in 2009. Penetration of baby carriers currently trails that of strollers, car seats, and other infant and juvenile products. JPMA manufacturer sales growth from 2008 to 2009 suggests that the soft carrier segment is growing more rapidly than other infant and juvenile product categories, with 7.8% unit growth and dollar growth. Comparatively, stroller shipments and convertible car seat shipments decreased 1.6% and 8.3%, respectively, over the same period

Management believes that continued growth within the market for wearable baby carriers is driven by several trends, including (i) lower relative penetration of baby carriers versus other infant and juvenile products; (ii) favorable demographics; (iii) increasing focus on the popularity of baby wearing; and (iv) convenience and mobility of wearable products.

Products and Services

ERGObaby

ERGObaby has two main product lines: baby carriers and accessories. ERGObaby’s baby carrier design supports a natural sitting position for babies, eliminating compression of the spine and hips that can be caused by unsupported suspension. The baby carrier also balances the baby’s weight to parents’ hips and shoulders, and alleviates physical stress for the parent. The organic carrier line uses 100% organic cotton from India. Additional accessories are provided to complement the baby carriers.

Within the carrier category, ERGObaby sells five primary product lines: the Standard, Organic, Sport, Performance and Options carriers and; within each line, ERGObaby offers multiple style variations. Amongst the carrier category, Standard carriers represented 39% of 2011 carrier sales and Organic carriers represented 37%, with all other carriers representing approximately 24%. Carrier sales were approximately $37.8 million and $30.0 million in 2011 and 2010, respectively and represented approximately 87% of total sales in 2011 and 2010 (excluding Orbit Baby).

Within the accessories category, ERGObaby sells twelve primary product lines: back packs, bibs, changing pads, chest strap, doll carrier, front pouch, hood replacement, Infant Insert, papoose coat, teething pads, waist extension and a weather cover. Within each line, ERGObaby offers multiple style variations including color and organic/non-organic fabric. The Infant Insert is the largest sales component of the accessory category, representing more than half of total accessory sales for 2010 and 2011. Accessory sales were $6.5 million, $4.4 million and $2.6 million and represented 15%, 13% and 12% of total sales in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

ERGObaby’s core product offerings with average retail prices are summarized below:

 

   

4 styles of baby carriers — $115 — $135

 

   

1 style of organic carrier in 7 colors — $135 — $160

 

   

5 styles of Infant Inserts — $25 — $38

 

   

12 different accessory products — $10 — $64

 

35


Table of Contents

Orbit Baby

The Orbit Infant System is a three-piece kit that includes a base, infant car seat, and stroller. Unlike traditional infant travel systems, the Orbit Infant System’s unique docking technology, (“SmartHub”), allows for easy interchange with Orbit Baby accessories, such as the bassinet and rocker, as well as future Orbit seats to create a multifaceted travel and comfort system.

The Orbit Baby stay-in-the-car infant seat base is touted as the easiest, quickest base to safely install. The base’s patent-pending StrongArm technology allows a secure installation in 60 seconds or less by simply clicking the LATCH connectors and turning the StrongArm knob to tighten the straps. Orbit Baby’s patent-pending SmartHub is the key to the system’s interconnectivity and lets you easily dock the Orbit infant car seat from almost any angle. This new ergonomic technology is kinder on your back while making boarding less stressful for your little passenger by avoiding unnecessary car seat jostling.

The Orbit Baby infant car seat is the common “plug-in” for the three-in-one infant system and can be moved nearly effortlessly from the base to the stroller. Thanks to the SmartHub technology, Orbit is the only infant car seat that ergonomically rotates for simple docking and undocking in both the car seat and stroller modes. For airplane and cab use, the infant car seat is also certified for use without the base. The Orbit Baby infant car seat meets all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and is rated to support a baby up to 22 pounds and 29 inches long.

The third member of the Orbit Baby Infant System is Orbit’s modern and lightweight stroller. As is the case with the Orbit base, SmartHub allows the infant car seat to dock to the stroller from any angle, and with 360 degree rotation baby can face rear, forward, or sideways to view the world from different perspectives. The Orbit Baby stroller also features a removable cargo pod that holds 6.75 gallons and is easier to reach than traditional stroller under seat storage compartments. Two drink holders, a safety lanyard, and telescoping height-adjustable handles round out the Orbit stroller’s sleek yet convenient offerings.

The Orbit Bassinet Cradle is an accessory which features a Bassinet that can be docked onto the included Rocker to create a modern cradle or onto the Orbit stroller. The Bassinet includes many of the advanced features of the other Orbit products, such as a reversible mattress perfect for any climate, exclusive paparazzi shield, and soft carrier handle.

The Orbit Rocker is another accessory that can easily dock the bassinet or any Orbit seat. The SmartHub rotation allows rocking from side-to-side or front-to-rear, and at a light 3.5 pounds and flat fold.

The Orbit Baby system won the 2007 iParenting Media Award for Best Product and has been recognized by a host of pregnancy and parenting magazines for its innovation and unique look.

Orbit Baby’s core product offerings with the average retail price are as follows:

 

   

Stroller - $750

 

   

Car seat - $360-$400

 

   

Bassinet / Cradle - $280

 

   

Accessories - $50-$180

Competitive Strengths

Superior Design Resulting in Improved Comfort for Both Parent and Child - The ERGObaby carrier’s flexible ergonomic design allows a parent to wear the child on the front, back, or hip, while ensuring a correct sitting position for the baby. The concept of baby wearing is increasing in popularity in the U.S., as parents recognize the benefits of the practice. Some child care experts encourage baby wearing as a means to strengthen the bond between parent and child, including allowing the parent to become more attuned to a child’s movements and needs. Consumers continually cite the comfort, superior design, and convenient “hands free” mobility the ERGObaby carrier offers as key purchasing criteria.

Baby Carriers Provide Less Expensive Alternative to Strollers - In times of economic softness, wearable baby carriers provide parents a less expensive alternative to strollers, while providing similar functionality. However, many parents purchase more than one form of transport for their infants and children, utilizing wearable carriers in addition to strollers and hand carriers.

Orbit Baby Infant System Technology - The Orbit Baby Infant System is a three-piece kit that includes a base, infant car seat, and stroller. Unlike traditional infant travel systems, the Orbit Infant System’s unique docking technology, (“SmartHub”), allows for easy interchange with Orbit Baby accessories, such as the bassinet and rocker, as well as future Orbit seats to create a multifaceted travel and comfort system for your growing child. The Orbit Baby Infant System features thoughtful, impressive engineering, designed for making the life as a new parent easier.

 

36


Table of Contents

Business Strategy

Increase Penetration of Current U.S. Distribution Channels - ERGObaby continues to benefit from steady expansion of the market for wearable baby carriers and related accessories in the U.S. and internationally. Going forward, ERGObaby will continue to leverage and expand the awareness of its outstanding brands (both ERGObaby and Orbit Baby) in order to capture additional market share in the U.S., as parents increasingly recognize the enhanced mobility, convenience, and the ability to remain close to the child that ERGObaby carriers enable. The company currently markets its products to consumers in the U.S. through brick-and-mortar retailers, including specialty boutiques; online web shops; and directly through its website. Management has developed a targeted strategy to increase its penetration of these currently underpenetrated distribution channels that includes: (i) the addition of new sales representatives; (ii) implementation of new sales and marketing programs; and (iii) a redesign of the company’s website.

Cultivate Attractive New Distribution Channels - In addition to its existing retail customer base, comprised primarily of small specialty retail stores and boutiques, there are numerous other retail channels that offer tremendous growth opportunities for both ERGObaby and Orbit Baby products. Specifically, management recently began targeting several types of retailers as the company continues its growth trajectory, including (i) multi-store maternity and infant and juvenile products chains; (ii) outdoor and sporting goods retailers; (iii) organic and natural specialty retailers; (iv) department stores; and (v) mass retailers.

International Market Expansion - Testimony to the global strength of its lifestyle brand, ERGObaby derives nearly 64% of its sales from international markets. Similar to the U.S., ERGObaby can continue to leverage its brand equity in the international markets it currently serves to aggressively drive future growth, as well as expand its international presence into new regions. The market for the company’s products abroad continues to grow rapidly, in part due to the growth in the number of births worldwide and the fact that in many parts of Europe and Asia, the concept of baby wearing is a culturally entrenched form of infant and child transport.

New Product Development - Management believes ERGObaby has an opportunity to leverage its unique, authentic lifestyle brand and expand its product line. Since its founding in 2003, the company has successfully introduced new products to maintain innovation, uniqueness, and freshness within its product line. Specifically, with 26 SKUs added in 2007, 14 SKUs added in 2009, 22 new SKUs added in 2010 and 23 new SKU’s added in 2011. These product introductions include both evolutionary product introductions, such as new colors and patterns for the company’s current carriers and associated products, as well as entirely new product categories. Major recent new product introductions include the 2007 introduction of the organic carrier and the 2009 introduction of the ERGObaby sport carrier, which incorporated a lighter-weight fabric and additional ventilation. In 2010, the company unveiled the ERGObaby infant insert Heart2Heart, which modifies the ERGObaby carrier to provide additional support for a baby’s developing spine. Additionally, in 2010, ERGObaby launched the Performance carrier and the Option carrier, the latter which allows the consumer to customize the look of the carrier with optional colored fabrics and designs. In 2011, ERGObaby launched the Daypack which is a hybrid of a Backpack and Diaper Bag that snaps around the ERGObaby Carrier straps to provide a comfortable, hands-free way to tote the day’s supplies in addition to all of your baby essentials.

Orbit Baby was founded in 2004 using its original design of the Orbit Infant System which is a three-piece kit that includes a base, infant car seat, and stroller, using the unique docking technology, (“SmartHub”). Since then, management has successfully introduced the Orbit Bassinet Cradle, and various accessories that has increased its versatility and kept them trend forward. In 2012, Orbit Baby is launching a new Toddler Car Seat as well as a Double Stroller, both developed using the “SmartHub” technology and is interchangeable with existing product lines.

Customers

ERGObaby primarily sells its products through brick-and-mortar retailers, online retailers and distributors and derives approximately 64% of its sales from outside of the U.S. Within the U.S., ERGObaby sells its products through over 900 brick-and-mortar retail customers and small infant and juvenile products chains, representing over 2,000 retail doors. ERGObaby products are sold through its German based subsidiary, ERGObaby Europe, which services brick-and-mortar retailers and online retailers as well as services a network of distributors located in Austria, Finland, Russia, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Denmark, France, Turkey and the Ukraine. Sales to customers outside of the U.S. and European markets are predominantly serviced through distributors granted rights, though not necessarily exclusive, to sell within a specific geographic region.

Orbit Baby also primarily sells its products through brick-and- mortar retailers, online retailers and distributors and derives approximately 34% of its sales from outside of the U.S. Sales to customers outside of the U.S. and European markets are predominantly serviced through distributors granted rights, though not necessarily exclusive, to sell within a specific geographic region.

 

37


Table of Contents

Sales & Marketing

Within the U.S., ERGObaby and Orbit Baby directly employ sales professionals and there are no directly employed sales reps; ERGObaby and Orbit Baby utilize independent sales representatives assigned to differing U.S. territories managed by in-house sales professionals. Independent salespeople in the U.S. are paid on a commission basis based on customer type and sales territory.

In Europe, ERGObaby directly employs its salespeople. In Europe, salespeople are paid a base salary and a commission on their sales, which is standard in that territory. ERGObaby Europe handles all ERGObaby distributor orders within the European countries including Russia and Ukraine; all other orders are handled through ERGObaby’s U.S. headquarters.

Orbit Baby handles all their International Distributor Orders out of their U.S. office.

ERGObaby and Orbit Baby have begun implementing a multi-faceted marketing plan which includes (i) targeted print advertising; (ii) online marketing efforts, including online advertisement, search engine optimization and social networking efforts; (iii) increasing tradeshow attendance; and (iv) increasing promotional activities.

ERGObaby had approximately $7.6 million and $3.5 million in firm backlog orders at December 31, 2010 and 2011, respectively. Orbit Baby had approximately $52,000 in firm backlog orders at December 31, 2011

Competition

The infant and juvenile products market is fragmented, with a few larger manufacturers and marketers with portfolios of brands and a multitude of smaller, private companies with relatively targeted product offerings.

Within the infant and juvenile products market, ERGObaby primarily competes with companies that market wearable baby carriers; although to some extent it competes with other forms of child transport and mobility products, such as strollers and hand-held baby carriers. Within the wearable baby carrier market, several distinct categories exist, including (i) slings and wraps; (ii) soft-structured baby carriers; and (iii) hard frame baby carriers. ERGObaby’s products are considered part of the soft-structured baby carrier category, and management estimates that based upon JPMA data. The primary competitors in this segment are Baby Bjorn and Manduca, which also market products in the premium price range. ERGObaby also competes with several smaller companies that have developed wearable carriers, such as Beco, CatBird, and L’il Baby, although these companies maintain a more limited product offering than ERGObaby. Within these categories, ERGObaby competes on price and functionality of design.

Orbit Baby principally competes with the following premium brand stroller manufacturers:

 

   

Chicco

 

   

Bugabo

 

   

Maclaren

 

   

Baby Trend

 

   

Stokke

 

   

Quinny Baby

 

   

UPPAbaby

Suppliers

ERGObaby exclusively sources its products from China and India. Since 2004, ERGObaby has utilized a contract manufacturer in China to manufacture the majority of ERGObaby’s non-organic carriers and accessories, which accounted for approximately 43% of ERGObaby’s purchases in 2011. ERGObaby partnered with a family-owned manufacturer located in India in 2009 which manufactures ERGObaby’s organic carriers and accessories, which represented approximately 57% of ERGObaby’s purchases in 2011. Management believes that this manufacturer has significant additional capacity to accommodate ERGObaby’s projected growth in the organic and non-organic categories. Furthermore, management is working on sourcing additional capacity from a supplier located in Vietnam and expects the qualification process to be complete in 2012.

 

38


Table of Contents

Intellectual Property

ERGObaby maintains a utility patent on its standard carrier, which was filed in 2003 and issued January 29, 2009. Notwithstanding this patent, ERGObaby primarily depends on brand name recognition and premium product offering to differentiate itself from competition. Orbit Baby maintains three utility patents for its SmartHub technology.

Regulatory Environment

Management is not aware of any existing, pending, or contingent liabilities that could have a material adverse effect on the company’s business. The company is proactive regarding regulatory issues and is in compliance with all relevant regulations. ERGObaby maintains adequate product liability insurance coverage and to date has not incurred any losses. Management is not aware of any potential environmental issues.

Employees

As of December 31, 2011 ERGObaby employed 74 persons in 6 locations. None of ERGObaby’s employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements. We believe that ERGObaby’s relationship with its employees is good.

Fox

Overview

Fox, headquartered in Scotts Valley, California, is a branded action sports company that designs, manufactures and markets high-performance suspension products and components for mountain bikes, snowmobiles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (“ATVs”), and other off-road vehicles.

Fox’s products are recognized by manufacturers and consumers as being among the most technically advanced suspension products currently available in the marketplace. Fox’s technical success is demonstrated by its dominance of award winning performances by professional athletes utilizing its suspension products. As a result, Fox’s suspension components are incorporated by OEM customers on their high-performance models at the top of their product lines. OEMs leverage the strength of Fox’s brand to maintain and expand their own sales and margins. In the Aftermarket segment, customers seeking higher performance select Fox’s suspension components to enhance their existing equipment.

Fox sells to over 160 OEM and approximately 7,600 Aftermarket customers across its market segments. In each of the years 2011, 2010 and 2009, approximately 80%, 78% and 76% of net sales were to OEM customers with the remaining sales to Aftermarket customers. Fox’s senior management, collectively, has approximately 100 years of experience in the suspension design and manufacturing industry and other closely related industries.

For the full fiscal years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, Fox had net sales of approximately $197.7 million, $171.0 million, and $121.5 million and operating income of $22.6 million, $19.6 million and $10.7 million, respectively. Fox had total assets of $130.0 million, $130.8 million and $120.3 million at December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009. Fox’s net sales represented 25.4%, 25.7%, and 24.1% of our consolidated net sales for the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

History of Fox

Fox was founded by Bob Fox in 1974 when, having participated in motocross racing, he sought to create a racing suspension shock that performed better than existing coil spring shocks. Working in a friend’s garage, Mr. Fox created the “Fox Air-Shox”. The product was successful and within two years it was used to win the U.S. 500cc National Motocross Championship.

In 1978, Fox began producing high performance suspension products for off-road and motorcycle racing. From 1978 to 1983, Fox suspension users won the 500cc Grand Prix (motocross), Baja 1000 (off-road), AMA Super Bike (motorcycle road racing) and Indy 500 (auto racing) generating greater market awareness for the Fox brand especially among racing enthusiasts.

As Fox grew, the company applied the same core suspension technologies developed for motocross racing to other categories. In 1987, Fox entered the snowmobile market. By 1993, Fox began supplying the mountain bike industry with rear shocks before offering front fork suspensions in 2001. Fox entered the ATV and other off-road markets in 2002.

 

39


Table of Contents

We purchased a majority interest in Fox on January 4, 2008.

Industry

Fox provides suspension products for mountain biking and powered vehicles, such as, snowmobiles, all-terrain/utility vehicles, motorcycling/motocross and off-road/specialty vehicles. Over the last three fiscal years mountain biking has represented approximately 69%, 75% and 80%, of Fox’s gross sales and powered vehicles have represented the remainder of gross sales.

Mountain Biking - In 2011, the North American bike market generated over $6.0 billion of sales according to the National Bicycle Dealers Association. Mountain bike related sales accounted for approximately 22% of this total according to U.S. Department of Commerce statistics, Gluskin Townley Estimates. These sales were primarily conducted through three channels: mass merchants, chain sporting goods and Independent Bike Dealers (IBDs). These channels are differentiated by the price, quality and selection of the mountain bikes they offer, with the IBD segment consisting of premium priced and highly technical performance bikes.

Mountain biking enthusiasts typically have strong preferences concerning not only the OEM brand but also for the components used by OEM manufacturers. Shocks, forks, wheels and drive-trains strongly influence customers’ buying decisions. OEMs have formed partnerships with premium component manufacturers having strong brands in order to generate increased sales of their fully assembled bikes. Fox’s components are generally selected by OEMs participating in the IBD segment and by Aftermarket consumers seeking increased performance characteristics.

Snowmobiles - In 2011, management estimates that the North American market for new snowmobiles was $1.1 billion. Snowmobiling can be segmented into the following categories: performance/crossover snowmobiles used for a variety of activities including racing; touring/utility snowmobiles that are more comfortable and often seat two people; mountain snowmobiles that are performance-oriented, focusing on vertical geography; trail snowmobiles that are primarily used for riding groomed and un-groomed trails; and youth snowmobiles. Fox provides suspension products in each of these categories.

As a way to stimulate demand for new snowmobiles and entice customers to purchase more premium priced snowmobiles, OEMs will select Fox shocks. Additionally, OEMs offer the Fox’s shock absorbers as upgrades on less expensive models. Aftermarket customers will select Fox components for increased performance characteristics.

All-Terrain Vehicles - In 2011 the North American ATV market was $2.8 billion according to management’s estimates. The market for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility vehicles can be divided into four segments: Recreation/Utility ATVs that are primarily used for trail riding, hunting and farming; Sport ATVs that are high performance, two-wheel drive machines used for racing and aggressive trail riding; Youth ATVs; and Side-by-Side ATVs. Fox develops and sells shocks into the performance and racing sport, youth and side-by-side sub-segments of the ATV market.

Similar to the snowmobile industry, OEMs will stimulate demand for new ATVs and entice customers to purchase more premium priced ATVs by selecting Fox’s shocks for their premium models. Additionally, OEMs offer the company’s shock absorbers as upgrades on less expensive models. Aftermarket sales are comprised of customers seeking enhanced performance characteristics.

Motorcycles/Motocross - In 2011, the North American sales of motorcycles was $4.6 billion according to management estimates. The motorcycle market consists of all classes of on-road and off-road motorcycles. There are three main categories: On-highway motorcycles that are primarily used on paved roads; Dual motorcycles that are used for both on and off-road activities; and Off-highway motorcycles that are only certified for off-road use. The Off-road category is further segmented into motocross, off-road which includes youth motocross and youth off-road. Currently, OEM needs for suspension products are largely filled by captive suppliers in this category. As such, Fox has focused on the Aftermarket performance racing segments. Aftermarket sales are comprised of customers seeking enhanced performance characteristics.

Off-Road Vehicles - In 2011, the North American retail sales of specialty automotive products were $28.6 billion according to the Specialty Equipment Market Association. Of that, $9.9 billion came from suspension and handling equipment. Off-road vehicles can be divided into five segments: off-road trucks, buggies, sand buggies, rock crawlers and lifted trucks. Consumers in the truck, buggy, sand buggy and rock crawler categories range from serious racers and enthusiasts to individuals involved primarily in recreational activities. The lifted truck segment, which consists of vehicles that in many cases never leave the highway, is divided generally by price point. Fox’s products target the high-end price point for each of these five segments. Off-road vehicles are generally customized vehicles with Aftermarket components unlike OEM vehicles although some OEM manufacturers are offering limited edition vehicles. Fox primarily sells to Aftermarket consumers seeking increased performance characteristics but has begun some limited sales to OEM manufacturers. FOX also provides suspension to the U.S. Government either directly or through tier one manufacturers.

 

40


Table of Contents

Products and Services

Fox designs and manufactures suspension products that dissipate the energy and force generated by various action sport activities. A suspension product allows wheels to move up and down to absorb bumps and shocks while keeping the tires in contact with the ground for better control. Fox’s products use aerospace alloys and feature adjustable suspension, progressive spring rates, and low weight combined with structural rigidity. Fox suspension products improve user control for greater performance while maximizing comfort levels.

Each suspension product built at Fox’s manufacturing facilities is assembled according to precise specifications at multiple stages throughout the assembly process to ensure consistently high performance levels and customer satisfaction. Finished parts are built in multiple assembly cells and on an assembly line using precise tooling to ensure manufacturing consistency and product functionality. Fox has developed a number of highly sophisticated assembly machines to ensure consistent high quality.

Competitive Strengths

Proprietary Engineering Expertise - Fox maintains a broad base of technical innovation and design that has been developed over the past 37 years. Fox’s technical expertise enables the development and production of some of the most advanced suspension products available in the market. With its history of innovation and design, Fox has created a deep portfolio of key intellectual property related to suspension technology and applications.

Highly Recognizable Brand - Driven by a long history of innovation, Fox has created a highly respected and well-known brand for advanced suspension products. A product branded with the FOX logo represents the highest level of technical performance for enthusiasts and professionals who require suspension systems capable of handling demanding conditions. The FOX logo is prominently displayed on all of Fox’s products and provides a halo effect for complementary products.

Strong Blue-Chip Customer Relationships - Given the long history of performance for Fox’s suspension products, OEM customers seeking the highest level of quality and technical features for suspension have developed strong long-term relationships with the company.

Business Strategies

Expand Revenues from Powered Vehicles Business - Fox’s focus on developing premier suspension technologies continues to create complementary opportunities across this segment. For example, Fox currently supplies shocks to Ford’s Special Vehicle Division specifically for its F-150 SVT Raptor Off-Road Truck.

Continue to Expand Aftermarket Sales - The sale of Aftermarket parts typically carries higher gross margins than a similar OEM sale. Fox is further investing in its Aftermarket sales infrastructure to foster sales growth in 2011 and beyond. One of the simplest and most effective ways for customers to improve their performance is the purchase and installation of an aftermarket Fox suspension product when compared to the expense of purchasing an entirely new platform.

International Growth - Due to the successful efforts of Fox’s operations teams, distribution to foreign OEMs and distributors is well-established. By selectively increasing infrastructure and honing its focus on identified opportunities, Fox plans to continue its international sales growth. Further, management plans include investigation of other international market opportunities, such as Asian and South American markets. International sales aggregated $129.9 million, $113.6 million and $84.0 million in fiscal 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Pursue New Market Trends and Opportunities - New trends in action sports can lead to significant market opportunities. Fox’s close association with racing and its professionals allows it to see new trends as they emerge. Depending on the trend, Fox will develop new products that address these needs.

Research and Development

Fox’s products are among the most technically advanced and rigorously engineered in their markets. They are specifically designed to function and perform under diverse and extreme conditions. Fox’s research and development effort is at the core of its strategy of product innovation and market leadership. Fox’s products feature a combination of innovative design, high-quality materials, and superb functionality and performance elements and are recognized as being the leaders or among the leaders in all of the market segments in which they participate.

 

41


Table of Contents

Fox has a robust core research and development team, which has a significant amount of industry experience. In addition to the core engineering group, a large number of other Fox staff members, who also use the company’s products, contribute to the research and development effort at various stages. This may take the form of initial brainstorming sessions or ride testing products in development. Product development also includes collaborating with customers, field testing by sponsored race teams and working with grass roots riders. This feedback helps ensure products will meet the company’s demanding standards of excellence as well as the constantly changing needs of professional and recreational end users.

Fox’s research and development activities are supported by state-of-the-art engineering software design tools, integrated manufacturing facilities and a performance testing center equipped to ensure product safety, durability and superior performance. The testing center collects data and tests products prior to and after commercial introduction. Suspension products undergo a variety of rigorous performance and accelerated life tests. Research and development costs totaled $5.1 million, $4.2 million and $3.0 million in each of the years 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Customers

Fox’s reputation for product quality, durability and technical excellence has resulted in a customer base that includes some of the world’s leading OEMs and a loyal following of knowledgeable and experienced end users. Fox’s OEM customers are market leaders in their respective categories, and help define, as well as respond to, consumer trends in their respective industries. These customers provide exceptional market support for Fox by including the company’s products on their highest-performing models. OEMs will often use Fox’s components to improve the marketability and demand of their own products.

Fox sells to over 160 OEM customers and approximately 7,000 Aftermarket customers across its market segments. One customer accounted for approximately 8.1%, 11.0% and 10.8% of net sales for the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Fox’s top 10 customers accounted for approximately 51.6%, 53.2% and 50.0% of net sales in 2011, 2010 and 2009. International sales totaled $129.9 million, $113.6 million and $84.0 million in each of the years 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Sales to Taiwan totaled $53.3 million, $49.5 million and $35.6 million in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Sales to Germany totaled $27.6 million, $24.0 million and $19.2 million in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Sales attributable to countries outside the United States are based on shipment location. The international sales amounts provided do not necessarily reflect the end customer location as many of our products are assembled at international locations with the ultimate customer located in the United States.

Sales and Marketing

Fox employs a number of dedicated sales professionals. Each sales person is fully dedicated to servicing either OEM or Aftermarket customers ensuring that Fox’s customers receive only the most capable person to address their unique needs. Fox strongly believes that providing the best service to its end customers is essential in maintaining its reputational excellence in the marketplace. The sales force receives training on the latest Fox products and technologies in addition to attending trade shows to increase its market knowledge.

The primary goal of the marketing program is to strengthen and promote the FOX brand in the marketplace. Fox increases brand awareness and equity with through a number of marketing channels including: advertisements in publications and websites; team and individual sponsorships; support and promotion at outdoor events; trade shows; website development; and dealer support.

Fox’s business is somewhat seasonal. Historically, net sales and earnings are highest during the third quarter. We believe this seasonality is due to delivery of new products containing our shocks related to the new bike season.

Fox had approximately $37.0 million and $34.7 million in firm backlog orders at December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Competition

Competition in the high-end performance segment of the suspension market revolves around technical features, performance and durability, customer service, price and reliable order execution. While price is a factor in all purchasing decisions, we believe customers consider Fox’s products to be an outstanding value proposition given their significant performance and other attributes.

 

42


Table of Contents

Fox competes with several large suspension providers as well as numerous small manufacturers who provide branded and unbranded products. These competitors can be segmented into the following categories:

Mountain Biking - Fox competes with several companies that manufacture front and rear mountain bike suspension products. Management believes these include RockShox (a subsidiary of SRAM Corporation), Tenneco Marzocchi S.r.l. (a subsidiary of Tenneco Inc.), Manitou (a subsidiary of HB Performance Systems), SR Suntour and DT Swiss (a subsidiary of Vereinigte Drahtwerke AG).

Snowmobiles - Within the snowmobile market, Management believes its main competitor is KYB (Kayaba Industry Co., Ltd.). Other suppliers include Öhlins Racing AB, Walker Evans Racing, Works Performance Products and Penske Racing Shocks / Custom Axis, Inc.

All-Terrain Vehicles - A large percentage of the shocks supplied to OEM ATV manufacturers are the result of either long-term supplier relationships or captive business units associated with a specific OEM. Alternatively, ATV manufacturers source suspensions from a variety of suspension manufacturers depending on the final application and performance requirements.

Fox’s management believes its primary competitor outside of captive OEM suppliers is ZF Sachs (ZF Friedrichshafen AG). Aftermarket shocks are available from large OEMs plus a number of primarily Aftermarket suppliers including Elka Suspension Inc., Öhlins Racing AB, Works Performance Products and Penske Racing Shocks / Custom Axis, Inc.

Off-Road Vehicles - Within the off-road vehicle category, Fox competes with both branded and unbranded competitors. The two largest competitors to Fox in management’s opinion are ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension GmbH (“Bilstein”) and King Shock Technology, Inc. (“King Shock”). Other competitors include Sway-A-Way, Pro Comp Suspension, Edelbrock Corporation and Walker Evans Racing.

Suppliers

Fox works closely with its supply base, and depends upon certain suppliers to provide raw inputs, such as forgings and castings and molded polymers that have been optimized for weight, structural integrity, wear and cost. Fox typically has no firm contractual sourcing agreements with these suppliers other than purchase orders.

Depending on component requirements, raw material inputs go through a combination of machining processes including computer numeric control machines, drill stations and lathes. Fox utilizes manufacturing models and workflow analysis tools to minimize bottlenecks and maximize capital asset utilization. After initial machining, components are then outsourced to specialized manufacturers for plating, grinding, anodizing and honing.

Fox’s primary raw materials used in production are aluminum and magnesium. Fox uses multiple suppliers for these raw materials and believes that these raw materials are in adequate supply and are available from many suppliers at competitive prices. Prices for these materials have been increasing but the company is implementing sourcing strategies and value engineering initiatives to offset them.

Intellectual Property

Fox relies upon a combination of patents, trademarks, trade names, licensing arrangements, trade secrets, know-how and proprietary technology in order to secure and protect its intellectual property rights.

Fox’s in-house intellectual property department and in-house counsel diligently protect its new technologies with patents and trademarks and vigorously defend against patent infringement lawsuits. Fox currently owns 28 patents on proprietary technologies for shock absorbers and front fork suspension products and has an additional 68 patent pending applications at the U.S. and European Patent Offices. Fox’s patent portfolio makes it an impediment to competitors to introduce products with comparable features.

Regulatory Environment

Fox’s manufacturing and assembly operations, its facilities and operations are subject to evolving federal, state and local environmental and occupational health and safety laws and regulations. These include laws and regulations governing air emissions, wastewater discharge and the storage and handling of chemicals and hazardous substances. Management believes that Fox is in compliance, in all material respects, with applicable environmental and occupational health and safety laws and regulations. New requirements, more stringent application of existing requirements, or discovery of previously unknown environmental conditions could result in material environmental expenditures in the future.

 

43


Table of Contents

Additionally, Fox is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and other federal, state and foreign regulatory bodies. Under CPSC regulations, a manufacturer of consumer goods is obligated to notify the CPSC, if, among other things, the manufacturer becomes aware that one of its products has a defect that could create a substantial risk of injury. If the manufacturer has not already undertaken to do so, the CPSC may require a manufacturer to recall a product, which may involve product repair, replacement or refund. Fox has never had any of its products recalled.

Employees

As of December 31, 2011, Fox employed approximately 463 persons. None of Fox’s employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements. We believe that Fox’s relationship with its employees is good.

HALO

Overview

Headquartered in Sterling, IL, HALO is an independent provider of customized drop-ship promotional products in the U.S. and operates under the well-known brand names of HALO and Lee Wayne. Through an extensive group of dedicated sales professionals, HALO serves as a one-stop shop for over 40,000 customers throughout the U.S. HALO is involved in the design, sourcing, management and fulfillment of promotional products across several product categories, including apparel, calendars, writing instruments, drink ware and office accessories. HALO’s sales professionals work with customers and vendors to develop the most effective means of communicating a logo or marketing message to a target audience. A large majority of products sold are drop shipped, reducing the company’s inventory risk.

We believe HALO is the largest promotional products business in the customized, drop ship sub-sector of the highly fragmented domestic promotional products market which management estimated to be $16.6 billion in 2010. We believe HALO’s size and scale enables specialization and efficiency in back office functions that cannot be replicated by smaller, independent operators. This scale generates purchasing power with vendors and allows HALO to consolidate purchases across its client base to achieve improved product pricing.

For the fiscal years ended December 31, 2011, 2010, and 2009, HALO had net sales of approximately $170.9 million, $159.9 million and $139.3 million and operating income of $9.0 million $4.9 million and $2.8 million in fiscal 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. HALO had total assets of $112.0 million, $110.1 million and $107.6 million at December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Net sales from HALO represented 22.0%, 24.1% and 27.7% of our total consolidated net sales for fiscal 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

History of HALO

HALO was founded in 1952 under its predecessor Lee Wayne Corporation. Lee Wayne Corporation was acquired in the early 1990s by HA-LO Industries, Inc., a provider of advertising and marketing services. In 2004, HALO formed to acquire the domestic promotional product assets of HA-LO Industries, Inc. and was renamed HALO Branded Solutions, Inc.

HALO acquired (i) Tasco, a promotional products distributor in 2007, (ii) Goldman Promotions, a promotional products distributor in April 2009, (iii) the promotional products distributor division of Eskco, Inc in November 2009, (iv) the promotional products distributor Ad-Nov in March 2010, (v) the promotional products distributor Relay Gear in March 2011 and (vi) the promotional products distributer Logos Your Way in October 2011.

We acquired a majority interest in HALO on February 28, 2007.

Industry

Promotional products provide companies with targeted marketing and long term exposure. In contrast to general advertising, promotional products enable targeted marketing to individuals and yield long term exposure from repeated use. Growth has been driven by the efficacy of promotional products in creating and enhancing brand awareness.

The promotional products industry generally involves coordination between suppliers, distributors and account executives. Suppliers manufacture promotional goods either internally or through outsourced manufacturers and produce catalogs for account executives to use when selling products. Following receipt of a product order, representatives work with their respective distributors to administer and process the transaction, typically following up to ensure delivery.

 

44


Table of Contents

HALO competes in a sub sector of the promotional products market that consists of merchandise which is customized or decorated with logos, team names or special events. While nearly any consumer product can serve as a marketing tool when branded, a majority of promotional products sold are in the apparel, writing instruments, calendars, drink ware, business accessories or bag categories. Management believes the promotional products distribution industry is fragmented, with approximately 22,000 distributors in the United States, the considerable majority of which are small firms with one to five account executives, generating sales of under $2.5 million.

The market can be broadly segregated into two large service categories: drop ship and program or fulfillment. A drop ship order is typically one time in nature and may be related to an event or single marketing campaign. Drop ship distributors do not take inventory of the product; instead, sales representatives assist customers in designing a solution to achieve its marketing objective, such as brand or company awareness, customer acquisition or customer retention. Drop ship distributors then source the product from one of thousands of suppliers to the industry, arrange the necessary embroidering, decorating, or other customization, and coordinate delivery to the client. Alternatively, providers of fulfillment services develop larger programs that involve corporate branding or incentive programs. Fulfillment distributors design programs with the customer, take inventory of product and ship over time to customer locations as requested.

Products and Services

HALO is one of the leading providers of promotional products that stimulate brand awareness, customer acquisition, and customer retention. HALO offers drop ship and fulfillment services, although drop ship services comprise a large majority of revenue. Through a sales force that has both broad geographic coverage and deep industry expertise, HALO provides promotional products to thousands of companies in the U.S. and Canada.

Examples of Common Promotional Products

 

Categories

  

Examples

Apparel    Jackets, sweaters, hats, golf shirts
Business Accessories    Calculators, briefcases, desk accessories
Calendars    Wall and desk calendars, appointment planners
Writing Instruments    Pens, pencils, markers, highlighters
Recognition Awards    Trophies, plaques
Other Items    Crystal ware, key chains, watches, mugs, golf accessories

HALO and its sales professionals assist customers in identifying and designing promotional products that increase the awareness and appeal of brands, products, companies and organizations. HALO sales people regularly play a consultative role with customers in the development of promotional materials, resulting in an array of product sourcing. HALO also provides fulfillment services on a selective basis.

As a result of its focus on automation, management has implemented what it believes to be an industry leading and proprietary information system to supplement HALO’s customer service operation. The system is tailored to support the unique needs of its customers and provides the flexibility required to integrate an acquisition or respond to a customer demand. The information system supports all aspects of the business, including order processing, billing, accounting, fulfillment and inventory management.

Competitive Strengths

HALO has established itself as a leading distributor in the promotional products industry. HALO’s management believes the following factors differentiate it from many industry competitors.

 

   

Industry Leading, Scalable Back Office Infrastructure - HALO’s management team believes that an important factor in attracting and retaining high quality account executives is providing an efficient and effective order processing and administrative system. HALO’s customer service organization provides critical support functions for its sales force including order entry, product sourcing, order tracking, vendor payment, customer billing and collections. HALO’s scale in the industry has allowed it to make information technology and personnel investments to create a sophisticated infrastructure that management believes differentiates it from many smaller industry participants.

 

45


Table of Contents
   

Diverse Customer Base Characterized by Long-Standing Relationships - HALO’s revenue base possesses little customer, end market or geographic concentration. It currently does business with over 40,000 customers in various end markets. For the fiscal years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, HALO’s top ten customers represented less than 20% of its revenues. In fiscal 2011 Halo’s top ten customers represented approximately 12% of its revenues. HALO’s team of account executives are often deeply involved in their local communities and possess deep and long standing relationships with customers of all sizes.

 

   

Extensive Relationships with a Broad Base of Suppliers - HALO’s management believes its relationships with a wide range of suppliers of promotional products allows HALO to offer its end customers the most complete line of items in the industry.

 

   

E-commerce

HALO launched its e-commerce initiative in 2011 with the intent of building its online brand, increasing sales and driving new leads to its existing account executives (“AEs”). Having made the necessary investments in staffing, website design and marketing to grow its e-commerce platform, management believes this initiative will increase revenue and prevent competitors from capturing market share by arming its AE’s with more weapons. In addition, the e-commerce platform will allow HALO to improve its operational efficiency through facilitating the end customers’ ability to place repeat orders and providing easy ordering access for end customers who know what they want without the help of an AE. Both improvements will afford AEs more time to increase sales and subsequently, generate incremental earnings for the Company.

HALO’s e-commerce initiative also will allow it to better segment the market. The company can leverage the collective knowledge of its AEs in order to create relevant and information-rich sites that are tailored to potential purchasers in specific industries. As a result, HALO will recognize opportunistic industries and better identify buyer demographics, product mix and margins to make its AE’s more productive. This will further simplify the development of the Company’s business plan and differentiate HALO from its online competitors.

Business Strategies

 

   

Attract and Retain Account Executives - As HALO’s infrastructure is relatively fixed, it derives significant incremental contribution from the addition of account executives. Further, HALO’s management believes it has developed a combination of service and compensation that allows it to offer account executives a value proposition superior to those offered by its competitors.

 

   

Optimize the Productivity of Account Executives - The management team of HALO continuously strives to increase the productivity of its account executives. HALO routinely provides its account executives with marketing support tools and training. In addition, for larger accounts, HALO works with account executives to develop proprietary solutions that allow customers to better measure and track their programs, thereby increasing their loyalty.

 

   

Selectively Acquire and Integrate - HALO’s management believes that HALO is well positioned to take advantage of the industry’s fragmentation and economies of scale. In the past, HALO has achieved significant synergies by acquiring and integrating other distributors. Recognizing this opportunity, HALO’s management team is constantly evaluating potential acquisition opportunities. We believe that current economic conditions may enhance our opportunities to make desirable acquisitions.

Customers

HALO has developed relationships with a diverse base of over 40,000 customers. HALO’s customers include a number of Fortune 500 companies as well as privately held businesses that rely on HALO as their sole marketing services provider.

Sales and Marketing

HALO’s revenue is generated through its sales force, which consults directly with clients to develop a solution that best meets their needs for each order and/or utilizes HALO’s infrastructure to build customized websites that act as online company stores. HALO’s back office receives orders from internal sales representatives via phone, fax or email. HALO’s tracking systems allow sales representatives to ensure that products are drop shipped directly from the vendor to the customer on time. HALO’s salespeople are based throughout the U.S. in order to better serve a geographically diverse customer base.

 

46


Table of Contents

HALO historically recognizes approximately 45% of its net sales and substantially all of its operating income in the months September through December due to calendar sales and corporate demand during the holiday season.

The following represents product category sales as a percent of gross sales by product in fiscal 2011, 2010 and 2009:

 

Product category

   % of sales
2011
    % of sales
2010
    % of sales
2009
 

Apparel

     28.0     19.5     19.9

Office accessories

     8.0     12.0     15.1

Bags

     6.0     11.0     14.1

Writing instruments

     7.0     11.0     13.8

Calendars

     9.0     11.9     11.6

Jewelry/awards

     3.0     1.0     5.0

Drink ware

     6.0     5.0     4.0

Other

     33.0     28.6     16.5
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 
     100.0     100.0     100.0
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Substantially all revenue is derived from sales within the United States.

HALO had approximately $16.1 million and $14.4 million in firm backlog orders at December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Competition

We believe HALO is the largest drop ship promotional products distributor in the U.S. Management believes the promotional products distribution industry is fragmented, with over 22,000 distributors in the United States, the considerable majority of which are small firms with one to five account executives, generating sales of under $2.5 million. Industry players can be segmented into the following categories, or a combination thereof:

 

   

Full Service - Companies that provide a wide array of services to a range of customers, including multinational clients. Full service offerings include both the drop shipment and fulfillment business models. HALO is a full service distributor.

 

   

Inventory Based - Distributors that provide inventory programs for large corporations. Inventory based providers are generally capital intensive, often requiring a large investment to maintain a broad inventory of SKUs.

 

   

Franchisers - Distributors that process and finance orders for a franchise fee. Franchisers do not offer back office support and typically attract distributors with lower credit profiles and those with available time to perform customer service functions.

 

   

Consumer Products Manufacturers - Some customer product manufacturers provide promotional products. Consumer product manufacturers, for whom promotional products is a non-core business, do not customarily invest in the necessary infrastructure to meet the support needs of industry sales professionals.

Competition in the promotional product industry revolves around product assortment, price, customer service and reliable order execution. In addition, given the intimate relationships account executives enjoy with their customers, industry participants also compete to retain and recruit top earners who possess a meaningful existing book of business.

Suppliers

HALO purchases products and services from over 4,000 companies. One supplier accounted for approximately 6% of purchases in the year ended December 31, 2011. If circumstances required us to replace this supplier we believe we could do so with minimal interruption in our product flow and at a negligible incremental cost.

 

47


Table of Contents

Employees

As of December 31, 2011, HALO employed approximately 503 full-time employees and approximately 669 independent sales representatives. None of HALO’s employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements. We believe that HALO’s relationship with its employees is good.

Liberty Safe

Overview

Liberty Safe, headquartered in Payson, Utah and founded in 1988, is the premier designer, manufacturer and marketer of home, gun and office safes in North America. From its over 204,000 square foot manufacturing facility, Liberty Safe produces a wide range of home, office and gun safe models in a broad assortment of sizes, features and styles ranging from an entry level product to good, better and best products. Products are marketed under the Liberty Safe brand, as well as a portfolio of licensed and private label brands, including Remington, Cabela’s and John Deere. Liberty Safe’s products are the market share leader and are sold through an independent dealer network (“Dealer sales”) in addition to various sporting goods and home improvement retail outlets (“Non-Dealer sales” or “National sales”). Liberty Safe has the largest independent dealer network in the industry.

Approximately 60% of Liberty Safe’s sales are Non-Dealer sales and 40% are Dealer sales.

For the full fiscal years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, Liberty Safe had net sales of approximately $82.2 million, $64.9 million and $73.8 million, respectively, and pro-forma operating income of $4.3 million, $2.8 million and $5.9 million, respectively. Liberty Safe had total assets of $85.5 million at December 31, 2011. Net sales from Liberty Safe represented 10.6% and 7.4% our consolidated net sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 and 2010 (from acquisition date), respectively.

History of Liberty Safe

The Liberty Safe brand and its leading market share has been built over a 23 year history of superior product quality, engineering and design innovation, and leading customer service and sales support. Liberty Safe has a long history of continuous improvement and innovative approaches to sales and marketing, product development and manufacturing processes. Significant investments over the last five years have solidified Liberty Safe’s reputation for providing substantial value to retailers and enhanced its long-standing position as the leading producer of premium home, office and gun safes.

Liberty Safe started operations in 1988 and throughout 1991 and 1992, increased its distribution capabilities, establishing a regional sales force model to better serve the Dealer channel. This expanded sales coverage gave Liberty Safe the needed organizational structure to provide ready support and products nationwide, helping to establish its reputation for service to its customers. On the strength of its growing reputation and national sales presence, Liberty Safe achieved the status of the #1 selling safe company in America in 1994, according to Sargent and Greenleaf data, the major lock supplier to the industry, a position that it has maintained to this day. In 2001, Liberty Safe opened its current 204,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Payson, UT and consolidated all of its manufacturing and distribution operations to a centralized location. As the only facility in the industry utilizing significant automation and a streamlined roll-form manufacturing process, it represented a significant step forward when compared to the production capabilities of its competitors. Incremental investments following the consolidation have solidified Liberty Safe’s position as the pre-eminent low-cost and most efficient domestic manufacturer.

Beginning in 2007, Liberty Safe reorganized its manufacturing process, retooled its product line for increased standardization throughout the production process and realigned employee incentives to increase labor efficiency. These improvements enabled Liberty Safe to shift from build-to-stock production to build-to-order with shorter lead time requirements, greater labor efficiency and reduced working capital.

During 2011 Liberty Safe constructed a new production line that will allow Liberty to build entry level safe products in- house. This product is currently sourced from an Asian manufacturer. The production line began operations in February 2012 and Liberty will manufacture two different models of safes on this line which translates into five new SKUs. Liberty invested approximately $9.0 million to build the line. This investment in production capacity now makes Liberty Safe the largest manufacturer of home, office and gun safes in the world. This added investment in capacity in the U.S. will allow Liberty Safe to provide shorter lead times and competitive pricing to its North American customer base. This will allow Liberty safe to capture additional market share, growing its revenue base and adding more margin dollars to the bottom line. In addition, Liberty Safe will be able to reduce its investment in inventory by no longer having to rely upon long lead times and the inaccuracies of forecasting.

 

48


Table of Contents

We purchased a majority interest in Liberty Safe on March 31, 2010.

Industry

Liberty Safe competes in the broadly defined North American safe industry which includes fire and document safes, media and data safes, depository safes, gun safes and cabinets, home safes and hotel safes. According to Global Industry Analysts, (“GIA”) March 2008 report, the global safe industry was estimated to be approximately $2.9 billion of wholesale sales in 2008, and grew consistently at an estimated CAGR of 4.3% from 2000 to 2009. Consistent growth has been one of the defining characteristics of this industry, and GIA anticipates it will continue at a rate of 4.4% from 2009 through 2015.

Products & Services

Liberty Safe offers home, office and gun safes with minimum retail prices ranging from $400 to $8,000.

Liberty Safe produces 34 home and gun safe models with the most varied assortment of sizes, feature upgrades, accessories and styling options in the industry. Liberty Safe’s premium home and gun safe product line covers sizes from 12 cu. ft. to 50 cu. ft. with smaller sizes available for its personal home safe. Liberty Safe markets its products under Company-owned brands and a portfolio of licensed and private label brands, including Remington, Cabela’s, John Deere and others. Liberty Safe also sells commercial safes, vault doors and a number of accessories and options. The overwhelming majority of revenue is derived from the sales of safes.

Competitive Strengths

#1 Premium Home and Gun Safe Brand with Strong Momentum in the Market - Liberty Safe achieved the status of #1 selling safe company in America in 1994 (per statistics provided by Sargent & Greenleaf, the primary lock supplier to the industry) and maintains this prominent position today. The market for premium home and gun safes is highly fragmented, and management estimates that Liberty Safe’s net sales are over twice those of its next largest competitor in the category. Liberty Safe continues to gain market share from the various smaller participants who lack the distribution and sales and marketing capabilities of Liberty Safe.

State-of-the-Art and Scalable Operations - Over the past five years, management has constructed a highly scalable operational platform and infrastructure that has positioned Liberty Safe for substantial sales growth and enhanced profitability in the coming years. Under current ownership, the company has transitioned itself from a manufacturing oriented operating culture to a demand-based, sales-oriented organization. The company’s strategic transition required the implementation of a demand-based sales and operating platform, which included (i) new equipment to drive automation and capacity improvements; (ii) reengineered product lines and production processes to drive efficiency through greater standardization in production; and (iii) new employee incentives tied to labor efficiency, which has improved worker performance as well as employee attitude. These initiatives are enhanced by an experienced senior executive team, a balanced sourcing and in-house manufacturing production strategy, advanced distribution capabilities and sophisticated IT systems. Liberty has combined its demand-based sales and operating initiatives with upgraded production equipment to drive multiple operational improvements. Since 2007, the company has reduced its lead times from 4 – 6 weeks to approximately seven days. These shorter production cycles coupled with better demand forecasting have significantly reduced working capital needs for the business by reducing domestic inventory from approximately 7,000 units to 3,000 units since 2007. Improved automation and workflow organization have decreased labor hours over 20% per safe from 8.3 in 2005 to 5.9 in 2011. These recent initiatives combined with the company’s cumulative historical investments in operational capabilities have created a lasting competitive advantage over its smaller competitors, who utilize labor-intensive operations and lack the company’s lean manufacturing culture.

Historically, Liberty Safe maintained an optimal mix of in-house and Asian-sourced manufacturing in order to improve its ability to meet customer inventory needs. Beginning in 2012 Liberty Safe will begin manufacturing entry level safes that were previously sourced from an Asian manufacturer, on its new production line built in 2011 and recently put in service. As a result over 99% of Liberty Safe products will now be made in the U.S. Management believes that once the production line is at or near full capacity they will experience increased margins. The increased capacity also positions Liberty Safe to grow its revenue base by more than was otherwise possible and profit from the product produced when compared to the all-in cost of the Asian sourced product.

 

49


Table of Contents

The company has leased for the past nine years a manufacturing and distribution facility in Payson, Utah that represents the most scalable domestic facility in the industry. The company’s multi-faceted production capabilities allow for substantial flexibility and scalable capacity, thus assuring a level of supply chain execution far superior to any of its competitors.

Reputation for High Quality Products - Liberty Safe is passionate about offering only the highest quality products on a consistent basis, which over the years has gained it an enviable reputation and a key point of differentiation from its competitors. Liberty Safe distinguishes its products through tested security and fire protection features and industry leading design focused on functionality and aesthetics. The design of its safes meet rigorous internal benchmarks for security and fire protection, while receiving certification from Underwriters Laboratory, Inc. (“UL”), the leading product safety standard certification, for its security capabilities. Additionally, Liberty Safe’s investment in accessories and feature options have made Liberty safes the most visually appealing and functional in the industry, while providing more customized solutions for retailers and consumers.

Trusted Supplier to National Retailer and Dealer Accounts - Liberty Safe’s comprehensive, high-quality product offering and sophisticated sales and marketing programs have made it a critical supplier to a diverse group of national accounts and dealers. Initially a key supplier primarily to the dealer channel, it has expanded its business with national accounts, such as Gander Mountain, Cabela’s and Lowe’s. Liberty Safe provides a superior value proposition as a supplier for its national retailers and dealers via its well-recognized brands, lifetime product warranty, tailored merchandising, category management solutions and superior supply chain execution. Further, Liberty Safe’s products generate more profitable floor-space, with both high absolute gross profit and retail margins over 30%. High retail profitability plus increased inventory turns has entrenched Liberty Safe as a key partner in customers’ success in the safe category. As a core element of building its relationships, Liberty Safe has invested significantly in making its retailers better salespeople through a proprietary suite of training tools, including in-store training, new product demonstrations, online education programs and sales strategy literature.

Business Strategies

Liberty has experienced strong historical growth while executing on multiple new sales and operational initiatives, positioning it to continue to increase its scale and improve profitability. Liberty’s growth strategy is rooted in the sales and marketing and operational initiatives that have spurred its expansion into new accounts and increased penetration of existing accounts. Liberty has significant opportunity in its existing channels to continue to build upon its already strong market share. In addition to growth within its current channels, Liberty’s core competencies can be successfully applied to ventures in the broader security equipment market. Liberty has explored certain of these opportunities, but due to the prioritization of operational initiatives and expansion opportunities within existing channels, they have not been aggressively pursued. Potential near-to-medium term areas for expansion of Liberty’s platform include:

 

   

Expand Liberty’s product line into the broader home and office safe market through current customers or new distribution strategies;

 

   

Enter the military secure enclosures market;

 

   

Further develop international distribution by entering new countries and expanding current limited presence in Canada, Mexico and Europe;

 

   

Enter the residential security market through a strategic partnership with a provider of residential security service solutions to provide a more complete physical and electronic security solution; and

 

   

Acquire businesses within the premium home and gun safe industry and/or leverage Liberty’s platform into new products or channels.

 

   

As a result of the $9.0 million dollar investment in automated equipment, Liberty will be able to expand its product offering in to the entry level safe market with a product that is superior in features and benefits at attractive price points

Customers

Liberty Safe prides itself on its ability to provide high-quality, innovative products and industry-leading customer service. As a result, it has fostered long-term relationships with leading national retailers (National or Non-Dealer) as well as numerous Dealers, enabling Liberty Safe to achieve considerable brand awareness and channel exposure. Traditionally, the Dealer channel has accounted for the majority of the Liberty Safe’s net sales, but through significant investment in its national accounts sales and marketing efforts, Liberty Safe has also become the leading supplier to National accounts. Expansion into National accounts is part of Liberty Safe’s strategy to reach a broader customer base and more varied demographics. National account customers include sporting goods retailers, farm & fleet retailers, home improvement retailers and club retailers. As of December 31, 2011 and 2010, Liberty Safe had 16 and 22 National account customers, respectively, that are estimated to have accounted for approximately 60% of net sales.

 

50


Table of Contents

Dealer customers include local hunting and fishing stores, hardware stores and numerous other local, independent store models. As of December 31, 2011, there were 325 dealers that accounted for 39% of 2011 net sales.

Liberty Safe’s largest customer accounted for approximately 13.2% and 15.2% of net sales in 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Sales & Marketing

Liberty Safe possesses robust sales and marketing capabilities in the safe industry. Liberty Safe utilizes separate sales teams for National accounts and Dealers, which enables it to provide more focused and effective strategies to manage and develop relationships within different channels. Liberty Safe has made significant recent investments in the development of a comprehensive sales and marketing program including merchandising, sales training and tools, promotions and supply chain management. Through these various initiatives, Liberty Safe offers highly adaptable programs to suit the varying needs of its retailers. This has enabled Liberty Safe to become a key supplier across diverse channels. Liberty Safe began advertising nationally on the Glen Beck show in the second half of 2010. This advertising has been highly successful and Liberty has continued this advertising in 2011 and will continue to do so in 2012.

Liberty Safe’s comprehensive service offering makes it uniquely suited to service national retailers in a variety of channels. Liberty Safe has designed a Store-within-a-Store program and a more comprehensive Safe Category Management program to build relationships and increase its importance to retailers. Primarily utilized with sporting goods retailers, the Store-within-a-Store concept successfully integrates the effective sales strategies of its dealers for selling a high-price point, niche product into a larger store format. Centered on communicating the benefits of its products to customers, the program enables retailers to more effectively up-sell customers through a good-better-best merchandising platform, increasing margin and inventory turns for its retailers. Liberty’s Safe Category Management program builds on the Store-within-a-Store concept to provide greater sales and marketing control and more complete inventory management solutions. This program facilitates Liberty Safe becoming the sole supplier to retailers, providing large incremental expansion and stronger relationships at accounts. No other market participant has the capabilities to provide a comprehensive suite of customer service solutions to national retailers, such as customized SKU programs, a Store-within-a-Store program and a Safe Category Management program.

Competition

Liberty Safe is the premier brand in the premium home and gun safe industry, with an estimated 34% market share in the category, two times the next competitor. Liberty is in a class by itself when it comes to manufacturing technology and efficiency and supply chain capabilities. Competitors are generally more heavily focused on either smaller, sourced safes or large, domestically produced safes. Competitive domestic manufacturers run “blacksmith” type factories that are small, inefficient and require a tremendous amount of manual labor that produces inconsistent product. In addition, many of Liberty’s competitors are directly tied to a third-party brand, such as Browning, Winchester or RedHead / Bass Pro.

Liberty competes with other safe manufacturers based on price, breadth of product line, technology, product supply chain capabilities and marketing capabilities.

Channel diversity in the premium home and gun safe industry is rare, with most companies having greater concentration in either the dealer channel or national accounts, but rarely having the supply chain capabilities or sales and marketing programs to service both channels effectively. Major competitors have limited sales and marketing departments and programs, making it difficult for them to expand sales and gain market share.

Suppliers

Liberty’s primary raw materials are steel, sheetrock, wood, locks, handles and fabric, for which it receives multiple shipments per week. Materials, on average, account for approximately 65% of the total cost of a domestically produced safe, with steel accounting for approximately 62% of material costs. Liberty purchases its materials from a combination of domestic and foreign suppliers. Historically, Liberty Safe has been able to pass on raw material price increases to its customers.

Liberty purchased over 25 million pounds of steel in 2011 primarily from domestic suppliers, using contracts that lock in prices two to three quarters in advance. Liberty Safe purchases coiled and flat steel in gauges from four to 14. Liberty Safe specifies rigorous requirements related to surface and edge finish and grain direction. All steel products are checked to ASTM specification and dimensional tolerances before entering the production process.

Liberty Safe had approximately $8.1 million and $7.3 million in firm backlog orders at December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

 

51


Table of Contents

Intellectual Property

Liberty Safe relies upon a combination of patents and trademarks in order to secure and protect its intellectual property rights.

Liberty Safe currently owns 25 trademarks and 2 patents on proprietary technologies for safe products.

Research and Development

Liberty’s approach to R&D and innovation drives customer satisfaction and differentiation from competitive products. Liberty is the engineering and design leader in its sector, due to a history of first-to-market features and standard-setting design improvements. The Company’s proactive solicitation of feedback and constant interaction with consumers and retail customers across diverse channels and geographies enables the Company to stay at the forefront of customer demands. The Company’s approach to product development increases the likelihood of market acceptance by creating products that are more relevant to consumers’ demands. Research and development costs were $0.7 million in 2011 and $0.2 million in 2010.

The below charts represents some of the recent innovations in product design (and functionality) that have come about from the Company’s dedication to R&D:

 

Product

 

Function / benefit

Cool Pocket™   Keeps documents 50% cooler than rest of safe
Integrated lighting system   Automatic on/off interior lights
Palusol™ Heat activated door   Seal expands to 7 times its size in a fire
Liberty Tough Doors™   Enhanced protection against side bolt prying
Marble gloss powder coat paint   Provides smooth glass finish
4-in-1 Flex™ storage system   Adjustable shelving configurations
Door panels   Pocket variety to store handguns and other items

In addition to product enhancements, new products, such as the Fatboy® Series, have been launched from Liberty’s commitment to R&D.

Based on consumer feedback, Liberty saw demand for safes that were capable of holding more valuables within the safe but at a lower price point than Liberty’s current large safe models. Within 3 months of conception, the Company introduced the successful Fatboy® series in February 2010. The Fatboy® and Fatboy Jr.® models, which are wider and deeper than traditional safes, were a natural complement to Liberty’s current products, targeted at a specific customer need. The introduction and success of the Fatboy® series demonstrates Liberty’s proven ability to recognize market opportunities, engineer a responsive product and execute market delivery. Beginning in 2012 Liberty Safe will introduce five new SKUs, manufactured on its new production line, with a unique locking system to service the entry level safe market.

Regulatory Environment

Liberty Safes’ management believes that Liberty Safe is in compliance, in all material respects, with applicable environmental and occupational health and safety laws and regulations.

Employees

Liberty Safe is led by a highly knowledgeable management team of sporting goods and consumer products industry veterans that possess a balanced combination of industry experience and functional expertise. The majority of the team members have worked together since 2000.

As of December 31, 2011, Liberty Safe had 212 full-time employees and 80 temporary employees. The Company’s labor force is non-union. Management believes that Liberty Safe has an excellent relationship with its employees.

 

52


Table of Contents

Tridien

Overview

Tridien Medical (formerly known as Anodyne Medical Device, Inc.) (“Tridien”), headquartered in Coral Springs, Florida, is a leading designer and manufacturer of powered and non-powered medical therapeutic support services and patient positioning devices serving the acute care, long-term care and home health care markets. Tridien is one of the nation’s leading designers and manufacturers of specialty therapeutic support surfaces with manufacturing operations in multiple locations to better serve a national customer base.

Tridien, together with its subsidiary companies, provides customers the opportunity to source leading surface technologies from the designer and manufacturer.

Tridien develops products both independently and in partnership with large distribution intermediaries. Medical distribution companies then sell or rent the therapeutic support surfaces, sometimes in conjunction with bed frames and accessories to one of three end markets: (i) acute care, (ii) long term care and (iii) home health care. The level of sophistication largely varies for each product, as some patients require simple foam mattress beds (“non-powered” support surfaces) while others may require electronically controlled, low air loss, lateral rotation, pulmonary therapy or alternating pressure surfaces (“powered” support surfaces). The design, engineering and manufacturing of all products are completed in-house (with the exception of PrimaTech products, which are manufactured in Taiwan) and are FDA compliant.

For the full fiscal years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, Tridien had net sales of approximately $55.9 million, $61.1 million and $54.1 million, and operating income of $5.0 million, $8.0 million and $7.4 million, respectively. Tridien had total assets of $43.3 million, $44.2 million and $49.0 million at December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Net sales from Tridien represented 7.2%, 9.2% and 10.7% of our consolidated net sales for fiscal years 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

History

Tridien was initially formed in February 2006 by CGI and Hollywood Capital, Inc., a private investment management firm led by Tridien’s former Chief Executive Officer, to acquire AMF and SenTech, located in Corona, CA and Coral Springs, FL, respectively. AMF Support Surfaces, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of non-powered mattress systems, seating cushions and patient positioning devices. SenTech is a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced electronically controlled, powered, alternating pressure, pulmonary therapy, low air loss and lateral rotation specialty support surfaces for the wound care industry. Prior to its acquisition, SenTech had established a premium brand as a result of its proprietary technologies, in the less price sensitive therapeutic market while AMF competed primarily in the preventive care market.

On October 5, 2006, Tridien acquired the patient positioning device business of Anatomic. The acquired operations were merged into Tridien’s operations. Anatomic is a leading supplier of operating suite patient positioning devices and support surfaces focused on the price sensitive long term care and home healthcare markets.

On June 27, 2007, Tridien purchased PrimaTech, a lower price-point distributor of powered medical support surfaces to the long term care and home healthcare markets. PrimaTech’s products are predominately designed in the U.S. and manufactured pursuant to an exclusive manufacturing agreement with an FDA registered manufacturing partner located in Taiwan.

In October 2009, Tridien and Hollywood Capital, Inc. terminated their management services agreement which provided for, among other things, two principals of Hollywood Capital, Inc., resigning from their roles of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Tridien. Upon termination of the agreement, Tridien appointed a new Chief Executive Officer and a new Chief Financial Officer.

We purchased a controlling interest in Tridien from CGI on August 1, 2006.

Industry

The medical support surfaces industry is fragmented and comprised of many small participants and niche manufacturers. Tridien’s consolidation platform allows customers to source all leading support surface technologies for the acute care, long term care and home health care from a single source. Tridien is a vertically integrated company with engineering, design and research, manufacturing and support performed in house to quickly bring new, innovative products and technologies to market while maintaining high quality standards in its manufacturing process.

 

53


Table of Contents

Immobility caused by injury, old age, chronic illness or obesity is the main cause for the development of pressure ulcers. In these cases, the person lying in the same position for a long period of time puts pressure on the bony prominence of the body surface. This pressure, if continued for a sustained period, can close blood capillaries that provide oxygen and nutrition to the skin. Over a period of time, these cells deprived of oxygen, begin to break down and form sores. In addition to constant or excessive pressure, other contributing factors to the development of pressure ulcers include heat, friction and sheer, or pull on the skin due to the underlying fabric.

The prevalence rate of pressure ulcers in acute care facilities has been seen as high as 34%, with costs of treatment as high as $70,000 per ulcer, causing an estimated burden of an additional 22 million Medicare hospital days. Further it has been reported that another 2% to 28% of all nursing home patients suffer from decubitus ulcers. We believe that providing the right therapeutic support surfaces is a necessary intervention for these ulcers. Management believes the need for medical support surfaces will continue to grow due to several favorable demographic and industry trends including the increasing incidence of obesity in the United States, increasing life expectancies and an increasing emphasis on prevention of pressure ulcers by hospitals and long term care facilities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between the years 1980 and 2000, obesity rates more than doubled among adults in the United States. Studies have shown that this increase in obesity has been a key factor in rising medical costs over the last 15 years. According to one study done at Emory University, increases in obesity rates have accounted for 27% of the increase in health care spending between 1987 and 2001. As an individual’s weight increases, so too does the probability that the individual will become immobile and, according to studies performed at the University of North Carolina, greater than 40% of obese adults aged 54 to 73 were at least partially immobile. As individuals become less mobile, they are more likely to require either preventative mattresses to better disperse weight and reduce pressure areas or therapeutic mattresses to shift weight and pressure. Similar to how obesity increases the occurrence of immobility, so too does an aging society. As life expectancy expands in the U.S. due to improved health care and nutrition, so too does the probability that an individual will be immobile for a portion of their lives. In addition, as individual’s age, skin becomes more susceptible to breakdown increasing the likelihood of developing pressure ulcers.

Beyond favorable demographic trends, Tridien’s management believes healthcare institutions are placing an increased emphasis on the prevention of pressure ulcers. According to recent Medicare guidelines, hospitals would no longer be reimbursed for the treatment of in-house acquired wounds, resulting in management’s expectations for a greater focus by hospitals in preventing and treating such wounds. The end result is that if an at-risk patient develops pressure ulcers while at the hospital; the hospital is required to bear the cost of healing. As a result of increasing litigation and the high cost of healing pressures ulcers, healthcare institutions are now focusing on using pressure relief equipment to reduce the incidence of in-house acquired pressure ulcers.

Products and Services

Specialty beds, mattress replacements and mattress overlays (i.e. therapeutic surfaces) are the primary products currently available for pressure relief and pressure reduction to treat and prevent decubitus ulcers. The market for specialty beds and therapeutic surfaces include the acute care centers, long-term care centers, nursing home centers and home healthcare settings. Medical therapeutic surfaces are designed to have preventative and/or therapeutic uses. The basic product categories are as follows:

 

   

Powered Support Surfaces: Mattresses which can be used for therapy or prevention and are typically manufactured using an electronic power source with air cylinders or a combination of air cylinders and foam and provide either Alternating Pressure, Low Air Loss, or Lateral Rotation. Alternating Pressure Systems are designed to inflate alternate cylinders while contiguous cylinders deflate in an alternating pattern. The alternating inflation and deflation prevents sustained pressure on an area of skin by shifting pressure from one area to another. This type of therapy provides movement under the patient’s skin to eliminate both excessive and constant pressure, the leading cause of bed sores. The powered control unit provides automatic changes in the distribution of air pressure. Tridien’s Alternating Pressure Systems in the SenTech line incorporate its intellectual property in the way these automatic changes take place. This patented technology allows for a more comfortable surface with aggressive therapeutic alternating pressure. Another typical type of powered surface is Lateral Rotation which can aid in laterally turning a patient to reduce risks associated with fluid building up in a patient’s lungs. A feature often found in Powered Surfaces is Low Air Loss that allows air to flow from the mattress to address the moisture and temperature environment on the patient’s skin, contributing factors to bed sores. Tridien currently produces patented designs for the performance of both Alternating Pressure and Low Air Loss mattress systems which management believes provides the optimum healing therapy for the patient. Powered support surfaces are typically used in acute care settings and when more aggressive therapy is needed. Powered Support Surfaces represented approximately 19.6% of net sales in 2011 and 21.2% of net sales in 2010 and 2009.

 

54


Table of Contents
   

Non-Powered Support Surfaces: Consists of mattresses which have no powered elements. Their support material can be composed of foam, air, water, gel or a combination of these. In the case of water, air or gel materials, they are held in place with containment bladders. Non-powered mattress replacement systems help redistribute a patient’s body weight to lessen forces on pressure points by envelopment into the surface. These products address the excessive pressure under a patient, but do not address the constant pressure applied to an area. Non-powered surfaces are generally used for prevention rather than treatment and currently comprise the majority of support surfaces. Currently Tridien manufactures a broad range of non-powered mattress systems using air, foam and gel. Non- powered support surfaces represented 53.1%, 53.2% and 52.7% of net sales in each of the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

 

   

Positioning devices: Positioning devices are used to position patients for procedures as well as to minimize the likelihood of developing a pressure ulcer during those procedures. Tridien offers a complete range of foam positioning devices. Patient positioning devices represented 27.3%, 25.6% and 26.1% of net sales in each of the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Competition

The competition in the medical support surfaces market is based predominantly on product performance, features, price and durability. Other factors may include the technological ability of a manufacturer to customize their product offering to meet the needs of large distributors. Tridien competes with manufacturers of varying sizes who then sell predominantly through distributors to the acute care, long term care and home health care markets. Specific competitors include, Span America and other smaller competitors. Tridien differentiates itself from these competitors based on its patented technologies, quality of the products it manufacturers as well as its design and engineering capabilities to produce a full spectrum of surfaces that provide the greatest therapeutic outcome for every price point. While many competitors specialize in the production of a single type of support surface, and often outsource certain manufacturing as skills required to develop and manufacture products vary by materials used, Tridien is able to offer its customers a full spectrum of support surfaces nationwide.

Span America Medical Systems (NASDAQ: SPAN): ($52.6 million in fiscal 2011 sales) Span America’s medical division includes the sales of skin care products, bedside mats, and foam mattress overlays and replacement mattresses, including the PressureGuard therapeutic mattress, Span-Aid patient positioners (used to elevate and support body parts) and Dish pressure-relief seat cushions to aid wound healing. Span America reported that approximately 41% of their revenue in 2010 was attributed to their therapeutic support surface segment. Span America also supplies safety catheters and makes specialty packaging products for use in outdoor furniture.

Business Strategies

Tridien’s management is focused on strategies to grow revenues, improve operating efficiency and improving gross margins. Of particular note, Tridien has completed four acquisitions since its inception and has achieved numerous benefits to this consolidation within the support surfaces industry. The following is a discussion of these strategies:

Offer customers high quality, consistent product, on a national basis - Products produced by Tridien and its competitors are typically bulky in nature and may not be conducive to shipping. Management believes that many of its competitors do not have the scale or resources required to produce support surfaces for national distributors and believes that customers value manufacturers with the scale and sophistication required to meet these needs. Tridien offers its customers the highest standards of quality through its robust Quality Management Systems. All Tridien facilities are either ISO 13485 registered or expect to be by the end of 2012.

 

   

Leverage scale to provide industry leading research and development - Medical therapeutic surfaces are becoming increasingly technologically advanced. Tridien’s management believes that many smaller competitors do not have the resources required to effectively meet the changing needs of their customers and believes that increased scale and investments in engineering and technology will allow it to better serve its customers through industry leading research, technology and development.

 

   

Pursue cost savings through scale purchasing and operational improvements - Many of the products used to manufacture medical support surfaces are standard in nature and management believes that increased scale achieved through acquisitions will allow it to benefit from lower cost of materials and therefore lower cost of sales.

Research and Development

Tridien develops surfaces both independently and in partnership with large distribution intermediaries. Initial steps of product development are typically made independently. Larger distribution market participants will typically require further product development testing to ensure mattress systems have the desired properties while smaller distributors will tend to buy

 

55


Table of Contents

more standardized products, especially on the non-powered products. Tridien has dedicated professionals, including individuals focused on process engineering, design engineering, and electrical engineering, working on the development of the company’s next generation of therapeutic surfaces and is currently investing in its future focus of advanced wound care technologies.

Tridien is working to develop the next generation of products in surfaces. The new product development process often requires 2 to 6 months for prevention products and 12 to 24 months for treatment products, of research, engineering and testing cooperation. Tridien will provide technical support and repair services for its products as well, a differentiating characteristic valued by its customers. During the year ended December 31, 2011 Tridien incurred approximately $1.8 million in research and development costs and is expected to increase this spending in 2011. The expected increase in spending will allow Tridien to focus on the next generation products. During the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, Tridien incurred $1.8 million, $1.3 million and $0.9 million, respectively, in research and development costs.

Sales and Marketing

Support surfaces are primarily sold through distributors, who either rent or sell to acute care (hospitals) facilities, long term care facilities and home health care organizations. The acute care distribution market for support surfaces is dominated by large suppliers such as Stryker Corporation, Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. and Kinetic Concepts, Inc. Other national distributors usually provide specific types of support surface technology. Beyond national distribution intermediaries there are numerous smaller more regional distributors who will purchase support surfaces developed by Tridien as certain brand lines are known in the market as providing proven therapy.

Tridien has developed a full range of support surface products that are sold or rented to healthcare distributors and occasionally sold directly to the end customer. Tridien also provides technical support and repair services for its products, an offering valued by all customers. While contracts with large distributors typically do not include minimum purchase orders, agreements typically call for rolling forecasts of orders to be given at the end of each month for the following three months.

Customers

During the fourth quarter of 2010 two of Tridien’s largest customers merged. The combined entity is now Tridien’s largest customer and accounted for 38.2% and 39.1% of gross sales in 2011 and 2010, respectively. Approximately 64.1%, 63.5% and 64.2% of Tridien’s sales have been to its three largest customers in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Tridien’s top ten customers accounted for 84.5%, 82.8% and 80.1% of gross sales in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Substantially all revenue is derived from sales within the United States.

Tridien had approximately $1.6 million and $2.8 million in firm backlog orders at December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Suppliers

Tridien’s two primary raw materials used in manufacturing are polyurethane foam and fabric (primarily nylon and polycarbonate fabrics). Among Tridien’s largest raw material suppliers are Foamex International, Inc., Dartex Coatings, Inc. and Uretek, LLC. Tridien uses multiple suppliers for foam and fabric and believes that these raw materials are in adequate supply and are available from many suppliers at competitive prices. We expect these costs, particularly those related to polyurethane foam to increase during fiscal 2011 due to recent trends in related commodity prices. Actions taken by manufacturers of petro-chemical commodities such as capacity reductions could influence price changes from our supplier. The cost of raw materials as a percentage of sales was approximately 48% of gross sales in fiscal 2011 and 46% of sales in each of the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009.

Intellectual Property

Tridien has 10 patents issued, filed from 1996 to 2005, and has 13 filed and pending patents.

Regulatory Environment

The FDCA, and regulations issued or proposed there under, provide for regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the marketing, manufacture, labeling, packaging and distribution of medical devices, including Tridien’s products. These regulations require, among other things that medical device manufacturers register with the FDA, list devices manufactured by them, and file various inspections by regulatory authorities and must comply with good manufacturing practices as required by the FDA and state regulatory authorities. Tridien’s management believes that the company is in substantial compliance with all applicable regulations.

 

56


Table of Contents

Employees

As of December 31, 2011, Tridien employed 261 persons in all its locations together with 101 temporary employees. None of Tridien’s employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements. We believe that Tridien’s relationship with its employees is good.

 

57


Table of Contents

ITEM 1A – RISK FACTORS

Risks Related to Our Business and Structure

We are a Company with limited history and may not be able to continue to successfully manage our businesses on a combined basis.

We were formed on November 18, 2005 and have conducted operations since May 16, 2006. Although our management team has extensive experience in acquiring and managing small and middle market businesses, our failure to continue to develop and maintain effective systems and procedures, including accounting and financial reporting systems, to manage our operations as a consolidated public company, may negatively impact our ability to optimize the performance of our Company, which could adversely affect our ability to pay distributions to our shareholders. In addition, in that case, our consolidated financial statements might not be indicative of our financial condition, business and results of operations.

Our Chief Executive Officer has taken a leave of absence

We previously announced that Joseph Massoud, our Chief Executive Officer, requested, and the Company’s Board of Directors approved, a leave of absence to focus his attention on an informal regulatory inquiry that Mr. Massoud received on matters unrelated to CODI. If Mr. Massoud were unable to return to the Company, or return to the Company after an extended leave of absence, the market price for the Company’s shares may be materially adversely affected.

Our future success is dependent on the employees of our Manager and the management teams of our businesses, the loss of any of whom could materially adversely affect our financial condition, business and results of operations.

Our future success depends, to a significant extent, on the continued services of the employees of our Manager, most of whom have worked together for a number of years. While our Manager will have employment agreements with certain of its employees, including our Chief Financial Officer, these employment agreements may not prevent our Manager’s employees from leaving or from competing with us in the future. Our Manager does not have an employment agreement with our Chief Executive Officer.

The future success of our businesses also depends on their respective management teams because we operate our businesses on a stand-alone basis, primarily relying on existing management teams for management of their day-to-day operations. Consequently, their operational success, as well as the success of our internal growth strategy, will be dependent on the continued efforts of the management teams of the businesses. We provide such persons with equity incentives in their respective businesses and have employment agreements and/or non-competition agreements with certain persons we have identified as key to their businesses. However, these measures may not prevent the departure of these managers. The loss of services of one or more members of our management team or the management team at one of our businesses could materially adversely affect our financial condition, business and results of operations.

We face risks with respect to the evaluation and management of future platform or add-on acquisitions.

A component of our strategy is to continue to acquire additional platform subsidiaries, as well as add-on businesses for our existing businesses. Generally, because such acquisition targets are held privately, we may experience difficulty in evaluating potential target businesses as the information concerning these businesses is not publicly available. In addition, we and our subsidiary companies may have difficulty effectively managing or integrating acquisitions. We may experience greater than expected costs or difficulties relating to such acquisition, in which case, we might not achieve the anticipated returns from any particular acquisition, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, business and results of operations.

We may not be able to successfully fund future acquisitions of new businesses due to the lack of availability of debt or equity financing at the Company level on acceptable terms, which could impede the implementation of our acquisition strategy and materially adversely impact our financial condition, business and results of operations.

In order to make future acquisitions, we intend to raise capital primarily through debt financing at the Company level, additional equity offerings, the sale of stock or assets of our businesses, and by offering equity in the Trust or our businesses to the sellers of target businesses or by undertaking a combination of any of the above. Since the timing and size of acquisitions cannot be readily predicted, we may need to be able to obtain funding on short notice to benefit fully from attractive acquisition opportunities. Such funding may not be available on acceptable terms. In addition, the level of our indebtedness may impact our ability to borrow at the Company level. Another source of capital for us may be the sale of

 

58


Table of Contents

additional shares, subject to market conditions and investor demand for the shares at prices that we consider to be in the interests of our shareholders. These risks may materially adversely affect our ability to pursue our acquisition strategy successfully and materially adversely affect our financial condition, business and results of operations.

While we intend to make regular cash distributions to our shareholders, the Company’s board of directors has full authority and discretion over the distributions of the Company, other than the profit allocation, and it may decide to reduce or eliminate distributions at any time, which may materially adversely affect the market price for our shares.

To date, we have declared and paid quarterly distributions, and although we intend to pursue a policy of paying regular distributions, the Company’s board of directors has full authority and discretion to determine whether or not a distribution by the Company should be declared and paid to the Trust and in turn to our shareholders, as well as the amount and timing of any distribution. In addition, the management fee, profit allocation and put price will be payment obligations of the Company and, as a result, will be paid, along with other Company obligations, prior to the payment of distributions to our shareholders. The Company’s board of directors may, based on their review of our financial condition and results of operations and pending acquisitions, determine to reduce or eliminate distributions, which may have a material adverse effect on the market price of our shares.

We will rely entirely on receipts from our businesses to make distributions to our shareholders.

The Trust’s sole asset is its interest in the Company, which holds controlling interests in our businesses. Therefore, we are dependent upon the ability of our businesses to generate earnings and cash flow and distribute them to us in the form of interest and principal payments on indebtedness and, from time to time, dividends on equity to enable us, first, to satisfy our financial obligations and, second to make distributions to our shareholders. This ability may be subject to limitations under laws of the jurisdictions in which they are incorporated or organized. If, as a consequence of these various restrictions, we are unable to generate sufficient receipts from our businesses, we may not be able to declare, or may have to delay or cancel payment of, distributions to our shareholders.

We do not own 100% of our businesses. While the Company is to receive cash payments from our businesses which are in the form of interest payments, debt repayment and dividends, if any dividends were to be paid by our businesses, they would be shared pro rata with the minority shareholders of our businesses and the amounts of dividends made to minority shareholders would not be available to us for any purpose, including Company debt service or distributions to our shareholders. Any proceeds from the sale of a business will be allocated among us and the minority shareholders of the business that is sold.

The Company’s board of directors has the power to change the terms of our shares in its sole discretion in ways with which you may disagree.

As an owner of our shares, you may disagree with changes made to the terms of our shares, and you may disagree with the Company’s board of directors’ decision that the changes made to the terms of the shares are not materially adverse to you as a shareholder or that they do not alter the characterization of the Trust. Your recourse, if you disagree, will be limited because our Trust Agreement gives broad authority and discretion to our board of directors. However, the Trust Agreement does not relieve the Company’s board of directors from any fiduciary obligation that is imposed on them pursuant to applicable law. In addition, we may change the nature of the shares to be issued to raise additional equity and remain a fixed-investment trust for tax purposes.

Certain provisions of the LLC Agreement of the Company and the Trust Agreement make it difficult for third parties to acquire control of the Trust and the Company and could deprive you of the opportunity to obtain a takeover premium for your shares.

The amended and restated LLC Agreement of the Company, which we refer to as the LLC Agreement, and the amended and restated Trust Agreement of the Trust, which we refer to as the Trust Agreement, contain a number of provisions that could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire, or may discourage a third party from acquiring, control of the Trust and the Company. These provisions include, among others:

 

   

restrictions on the Company’s ability to enter into certain transactions with our major shareholders, with the exception of our Manager, modeled on the limitation contained in Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, or DGCL;

 

   

allowing only the Company’s board of directors to fill newly created directorships, for those directors who are elected by our shareholders, and allowing only our Manager, as holder of the Allocation Interests, to fill vacancies with respect to the class of directors appointed by our Manager;

 

59


Table of Contents
   

requiring that directors elected by our shareholders be removed, with or without cause, only by a vote of 85% of our shareholders;

 

   

requiring advance notice for nominations of candidates for election to the Company’s board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by our shareholders at a shareholders’ meeting;

 

   

having a substantial number of additional authorized but unissued shares that may be issued without shareholder action;

 

   

providing the Company’s board of directors with certain authority to amend the LLC Agreement and the Trust Agreement, subject to certain voting and consent rights of the holders of trust interests and Allocation Interests;

 

   

providing for a staggered board of directors of the Company, the effect of which could be to deter a proxy contest for control of the Company’s board of directors or a hostile takeover; and

 

   

limitations regarding calling special meetings and written consents of our shareholders.

These provisions, as well as other provisions in the LLC Agreement and Trust Agreement may delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might otherwise result in you obtaining a takeover premium for your shares.

We may have conflicts of interest with the minority shareholders of our businesses.

The boards of directors of our respective businesses have fiduciary duties to all their shareholders, including the Company and minority shareholders. As a result, they may make decisions that are in the best interests of their shareholders generally but which are not necessarily in the best interest of the Company or our shareholders. In dealings with the Company, the directors of our businesses may have conflicts of interest and decisions may have to be made without the participation of directors appointed by the Company, and such decisions may be different from those that we would make.

Our third party credit facility exposes us to additional risks associated with leverage and inhibits our operating flexibility and reduces cash flow available for distributions to our shareholders.

At December 31, 2011, we had approximately $225 million outstanding under our Term Loan Facility. We expect to increase our level of debt in the future. The terms of our Revolving Credit Facility contains a number of affirmative and restrictive covenants that, among other things, require us to:

 

   

maintain a minimum level of cash flow;

 

   

leverage new businesses we acquire to a minimum specified level at the time of acquisition;

 

   

keep our total debt to cash flow at or below a ratio of 3.5 to 1; and

 

   

make acquisitions that satisfy certain specified minimum criteria.

If we violate any of these covenants, our lender may accelerate the maturity of any debt outstanding and we may be prohibited from making any distributions to our shareholders. Such debt is secured by all of our assets, including the stock we own in our businesses and the rights we have under the loan agreements with our businesses. Our ability to meet our debt service obligations may be affected by events beyond our control and will depend primarily upon cash produced by our businesses. Any failure to comply with the terms of our indebtedness could materially adversely affect us.

Changes in interest rates could materially adversely affect us.

Our Credit Facility bears interest at floating rates which will generally change as interest rates change. We bear the risk that the rates we are charged by our lender will increase faster than the earnings and cash flow of our businesses, which could reduce profitability, adversely affect our ability to service our debt, cause us to breach covenants contained in our Revolving Credit Facility and reduce cash flow available for distribution, any of which could materially adversely affect us.

 

60


Table of Contents

We may engage in a business transaction with one or more target businesses that have relationships with our officers, our directors, our Manager or CGI, which may create potential conflicts of interest.

We may decide to acquire one or more businesses with which our officers, our directors, our Manager or CGI have a relationship. While we might obtain a fairness opinion from an independent investment banking firm, potential conflicts of interest may still exist with respect to a particular acquisition, and, as a result, the terms of the acquisition of a target business may not be as advantageous to our shareholders as it would have been absent any conflicts of interest.

We are exposed to risks relating to evaluations of controls required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

We are required to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. While we have concluded that at December 31, 2011, we have no material weaknesses in our internal controls over financial reporting we cannot assure you that we will not have a material weakness in the future. A “material weakness” is a control deficiency, or combination of significant deficiencies that results in more than a remote likelihood that a material misstatement of the annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected. If we fail to maintain a system of internal controls over financial reporting that meets the requirements of Section 404, we might be subject to sanctions or investigation by regulatory authorities such as the SEC or by the New York Stock Exchange. Additionally, failure to comply with Section 404 or the report by us of a material weakness may cause investors to lose confidence in our financial statements and our stock price may be adversely affected. If we fail to remedy any material weakness, our financial statements may be inaccurate, we may not have access to the capital markets, and our stock price may be adversely affected

CGI may exercise significant influence over the Company.

CGI, through a wholly owned subsidiary, owns 7,931,000 or approximately 16.4% of our shares and may have significant influence over the election of directors in the future.

If, in the future, we cease to control and operate our businesses, we may be deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended.

Under the terms of the LLC Agreement, we have the latitude to make investments in businesses that we will not operate or control. If we make significant investments in businesses that we do not operate or control or cease to operate and control our businesses, we may be deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the Investment Company Act. If we were deemed to be an investment company, we would either have to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act, obtain exemptive relief from the SEC or modify our investments or organizational structure or our contract rights to fall outside the definition of an investment company. Registering as an investment company could, among other things, materially adversely affect our financial condition, business and results of operations, materially limit our ability to borrow funds or engage in other transactions involving leverage and require us to add directors who are independent of us or our Manager and otherwise will subject us to additional regulation that will be costly and time-consuming.

Risks Relating to Our Manager

Our Chief Executive Officer, directors, Manager and management team may allocate some of their time to other businesses, thereby causing conflicts of interest in their determination as to how much time to devote to our affairs, which may materially adversely affect our operations.

While the members of our management team anticipate devoting a substantial amount of their time to the affairs of the Company, only Mr. James Bottiglieri, our Chief Financial Officer, devotes substantially all of his time to our affairs. Our Chief Executive Officer, directors, Manager and members of our management team may engage in other business activities. This may result in a conflict of interest in allocating their time between our operations and our management and operations of other businesses. Their other business endeavors may be related to CGI, which will continue to own several businesses that were managed by our management team prior to our initial public offering, or affiliates of CGI as well as other parties. Conflicts of interest that arise over the allocation of time may not always be resolved in our favor and may materially adversely affect our operations. See the section entitled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions” for the potential conflicts of interest of which you should be aware.

 

61


Table of Contents

Our Manager and its affiliates, including members of our management team, may engage in activities that compete with us or our businesses.

While our management team intends to devote a substantial majority of their time to the affairs of the Company, and while our Manager and its affiliates currently do not manage any other businesses that are in similar lines of business as our businesses, and while our Manager must present all opportunities that meet the Company’s acquisition and disposition criteria to the Company’s board of directors, neither our management team nor our Manager is expressly prohibited from investing in or managing other entities, including those that are in the same or similar line of business as our businesses. In this regard, the management services agreement and the obligation to provide management services will not create a mutually exclusive relationship between our Manager and its affiliates, on the one hand, and the Company, on the other.

Our Manager need not present an acquisition or disposition opportunity to us if our Manager determines on its own that such acquisition or disposition opportunity does not meet the Company’s acquisition or disposition criteria.

Our Manager will review any acquisition or disposition opportunity presented to the Manager to determine if it satisfies the Company’s acquisition or disposition criteria, as established by the Company’s board of directors from time to time. If our Manager determines, in its sole discretion, that an opportunity fits our criteria, our Manager will refer the opportunity to the Company’s board of directors for its authorization and approval prior to the consummation thereof; opportunities that our Manager determines do not fit our criteria do not need to be presented to the Company’s board of directors for consideration. If such an opportunity is ultimately profitable, we will have not participated in such opportunity. Upon a determination by the Company’s board of directors not to promptly pursue an opportunity presented to it by our Manager in whole or in part, our Manager will be unrestricted in its ability to pursue such opportunity, or any part that we do not promptly pursue, on its own or refer such opportunity to other entities, including its affiliates.

We cannot remove our Manager solely for poor performance, which could limit our ability to improve our performance and could materially adversely affect the market price of our shares.

Under the terms of the management services agreement, our Manager cannot be removed as a result of underperformance. Instead, the Company’s board of directors can only remove our Manager in certain limited circumstances or upon a vote by the majority of the Company’s board of directors and the majority of our shareholders to terminate the management services agreement. This limitation could materially adversely affect the market price of our shares.

We may have difficulty severing ties with Mr. Massoud.

Under the management services agreement, the Company’s board of directors may, after due consultation with our Manager, at any time request that our Manager replace any individual seconded to the Company and our Manager will, as promptly as practicable, replace any such individual. However, because Mr. Massoud is the managing member of our Manager with a significant ownership interest therein, we may have difficulty completely severing ties with Mr. Massoud absent terminating the management services agreement and our relationship with our Manager.

If the management services agreement is terminated, our Manager, as holder of the Allocation Interests in the Company, has the right to cause the Company to purchase such Allocation Interests, which may materially adversely affect our liquidity and ability to grow.

If the management services agreement is terminated at any time other than as a result of our Manager’s resignation or if our Manager resigns on any date that is at least three years after the closing of our initial public offering, our Manager will have the right, but not the obligation, for one year from the date of termination or resignation, as the case may be, to cause the Company to purchase the Allocation Interests for the put price. If our Manager elects to cause the Company to purchase its Allocation Interests, we are obligated to do so and, until we have done so, our ability to conduct our business, including incurring debt, would be restricted and, accordingly, our liquidity and ability to grow may be adversely affected.

Our Manager can resign on 90 days’ notice and we may not be able to find a suitable replacement within that time, resulting in a disruption in our operations that could materially adversely affect our financial condition, business and results of operations as well as the market price of our shares.

Our Manager has the right, under the management services agreement, to resign at any time on 90 days’ written notice, whether we have found a replacement or not. If our Manager resigns, we may not be able to contract with a new manager or hire internal management with similar expertise and ability to provide the same or equivalent services on acceptable terms within 90 days, or at all, in which case our operations are likely to experience a disruption, our financial condition, business and results of operations as well as our ability to pay distributions are likely to be adversely affected and the market price of our shares may decline. In addition, the coordination of our internal management, acquisition activities and supervision of our businesses is likely to suffer if we are unable to identify and reach an agreement with a single institution or group of

 

62


Table of Contents

executives having the expertise possessed by our Manager and its affiliates. Even if we are able to retain comparable management, whether internal or external, the integration of such management and their lack of familiarity with our businesses may result in additional costs and time delays that could materially adversely affect our financial condition, business and results of operations.

The liability associated with the supplemental put agreement is difficult to estimate and may be subject to substantial period-to-period changes, thereby significantly impacting our future results of operations.

The Company will record the supplemental put agreement at its fair value at each balance sheet date by recording any change in fair value through its income statement. The fair value of the supplemental put agreement is largely related to the value of the profit allocation that our Manager, as holder of Allocation Interests, will receive. The valuation of the supplemental put agreement requires the use of complex financial models, which require sensitive assumptions and estimates. If our assumptions and estimates result in an over-estimation or under-estimation of the fair value of the supplemental put agreement, the resulting fluctuation in related liabilities could cause a material adverse effect on our future results of operations.

We must pay our Manager the management fee regardless of our performance.

Our Manager is entitled to receive a management fee that is based on our adjusted net assets, as defined in the management services agreement, regardless of the performance of our businesses. The calculation of the management fee is unrelated to the Company’s net income. As a result, the management fee may incentivize our Manager to increase the amount of our assets, through, for example, the acquisition of additional assets or the incurrence of third party debt rather than increase the performance of our businesses.

We cannot determine the amount of the management fee that will be paid over time with any certainty.

The management fee paid to CGM for the year ended December 31, 2011, was $16.8 million. The management fee is calculated by reference to the Company’s adjusted net assets, which will be impacted by the acquisition or disposition of businesses, which can be significantly influenced by our Manager, as well as the performance of our businesses and other businesses we may acquire in the future. Changes in adjusted net assets and in the resulting management fee could be significant, resulting in a material adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations. In addition, if the performance of the Company declines, assuming adjusted net assets remains the same, management fees will increase as a percentage of the Company’s net income.

We cannot determine the amount of profit allocation that will be paid over time with any certainty.

We cannot determine the amount of profit allocation that will be paid over time with any certainty. Such determination would be dependent on the potential sale proceeds received for any of our businesses and the performance of the Company and its businesses over a multi-year period of time, among other factors that cannot be predicted with certainty at this time. Such factors may have a significant impact on the amount of any profit allocation to be paid. Likewise, such determination would be dependent on whether certain hurdles were surpassed giving rise to a payment of profit allocation. Any amounts paid in respect of the profit allocation are unrelated to the management fee earned for performance of services under the management services agreement.

The fees to be paid to our Manager pursuant to the management services agreement, the offsetting management services agreements and transaction services agreements and the profit allocation to be paid to our Manager, as holder of the Allocation Interests, pursuant to the LLC Agreement may significantly reduce the amount of cash available for distribution to our shareholders.

Under the management services agreement, the Company will be obligated to pay a management fee to and, subject to certain conditions, reimburse the costs and out-of-pocket expenses of our Manager incurred on behalf of the Company in connection with the provision of services to the Company. Similarly, our businesses will be obligated to pay fees to and reimburse the costs and expenses of our Manager pursuant to any offsetting management services agreements entered into between our Manager and one of our businesses, or any transaction services agreements to which such businesses are a party. In addition, our Manager, as holder of the Allocation Interests, will be entitled to receive profit allocations and may be entitled to receive the put price. While it is difficult to quantify with any certainty the actual amount of any such payments in the future, we do expect that such amounts could be substantial. See the section entitled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions” for more information about these payment obligations of the Company. The management fee, profit allocation and put price will be payment obligations of the Company and, as a result, will be paid, along with other Company obligations, prior to the payment of distributions to shareholders. As a result, the payment of these amounts may significantly reduce the amount of cash flow available for distribution to our shareholders.

 

63


Table of Contents

Our Manager’s influence on conducting our operations, including on our conducting of transactions, gives it the ability to increase its fees, which may reduce the amount of cash flow available for distribution to our shareholders.

Under the terms of the management services agreement, our Manager is paid a management fee calculated as a percentage of the Company’s adjusted net assets for certain items and is unrelated to net income or any other performance base or measure. Our Manager, controls, may advise us to consummate transactions, incur third party debt or conduct our operations in a manner that, in our Manager’s reasonable discretion, are necessary to the future growth of our businesses and are in the best interests of our shareholders. These transactions, however, may increase the amount of fees paid to our Manager. Our Manager’s ability to increase its fees, through the influence it has over our operations, may increase the compensation paid by our Manager. Our Manager’s ability to influence the management fee paid to it by us could reduce the amount of cash flow available for distribution to our shareholders.

Fees paid by the Company and our businesses pursuant to transaction services agreements do not offset fees payable under the management services agreement and will be in addition to the management fee payable by the Company under the management services agreement.

The management services agreement provides that our businesses may enter into transaction services agreements with our Manager pursuant to which our businesses will pay fees to our Manager. See the section entitled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions” for more information about these agreements. Unlike fees paid under the offsetting management services agreements, fees that are paid pursuant to such transaction services agreements will not reduce the management fee payable by the Company. Therefore, such fees will be in excess of the management fee payable by the Company.

The fees to be paid to our Manager pursuant to these transaction service agreements will be paid prior to any principal, interest or dividend payments to be paid to the Company by our businesses, which will reduce the amount of cash flow available for distributions to shareholders.

Our Manager’s profit allocation may induce it to make suboptimal decisions regarding our operations.

Our Manager, as holder of 100% of the Allocation Interests in the Company, will receive a profit allocation based on ongoing cash flows and capital gains in excess of a hurdle rate. In this respect, a calculation and payment of profit allocation may be triggered upon the sale of one of our businesses. As a result, our Manager may be incentivized to recommend the sale of one or more of our businesses to the Company’s board of directors at a time that may not be optimal for our shareholders.

The obligations to pay the management fee and profit allocation, including the put price, may cause the Company to liquidate assets or incur debt.

If we do not have sufficient liquid assets to pay the management fee and profit allocation, including the put price, when such payments are due, we may be required to liquidate assets or incur debt in order to make such payments. This circumstance could materially adversely affect our liquidity and ability to make distributions to our shareholders.

Risks Related to Taxation

Our shareholders will be subject to tax on their share of the Company’s taxable income, which taxes or taxable income could exceed the cash distributions they receive from the Trust.

For so long as the Company or the Trust (if it is treated as a tax partnership) would not be required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and at least 90% of our gross income for each taxable year constitutes “qualifying income” within the meaning of Section 7704(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), on a continuing basis, we will be treated, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as a partnership and not as an association or a publicly traded partnership taxable as a corporation. In that case our shareholders will be subject to U.S. federal income tax and, possibly, state, local and foreign income tax, on their share of the Company’s taxable income, which taxes or taxable income could exceed the cash distributions they receive from the Trust. There is, accordingly, a risk that our shareholders may not receive cash distributions equal to their portion of our taxable income or sufficient in amount even to satisfy their personal tax liability those results from that income. This may result from gains on the sale or exchange of stock or debt of subsidiaries that will be allocated to shareholders who hold (or are deemed to hold) shares on the day such gains

 

64


Table of Contents

were realized if there is no corresponding distribution of the proceeds from such sales, or where a shareholder disposes of shares after an allocation of gain but before proceeds (if any) are distributed by the Company. Shareholders may also realize income in excess of distributions due to the Company’s use of cash from operations or sales proceeds for uses other than to make distributions to shareholders, including funding acquisitions, satisfying short- and long-term working capital needs of our businesses, or satisfying known or unknown liabilities. In addition, certain financial covenants with the Company’s lenders may limit or prohibit the distribution of cash to shareholders. The Company’s board of directors is also free to change the Company’s distribution policy. The Company is under no obligation to make distributions to shareholders equal to or in excess of their portion of our taxable income or sufficient in amount even to satisfy the tax liability that results from that income.

All of the Company’s income could be subject to an entity-level tax in the United States, which could result in a material reduction in cash flow available for distribution to holders of shares of the Trust and thus could result in a substantial reduction in the value of the shares.

We do not expect the Company to be characterized as a corporation so long as it would not be required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and 90% or more of its gross income for each taxable year constitutes “qualifying income.” The Company expects to receive more than 90% of its gross income each year from dividends, interest and gains on sales of stock or debt instruments, including principally from or with respect to stock or debt of corporations in which the Company holds a majority interest. The Company intends to treat all such dividends, interest and gains as “qualifying income.”

If the Company fails to satisfy this “qualifying income” exception, the Company will be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal (and certain state and local) income tax purposes, and would be required to pay income tax at regular corporate rates on its income. Taxation of the Company as a corporation could result in a material reduction in distributions to our shareholders and after-tax return and, thus, could likely result in a reduction in the value of, or materially adversely affect the market price of, the shares of the Trust.

A shareholder may recognize a greater taxable gain (or a smaller tax loss) on a disposition of shares than expected because of the treatment of debt under the partnership tax accounting rules.

We may incur debt for a variety of reasons, including for acquisitions as well as other purposes. Under partnership tax accounting principles (which apply to the Company), debt of the Company generally will be allocable to our shareholders, who will realize the benefit of including their allocable share of the debt in the tax basis of their investment in shares. At the time a shareholder later sells shares, the selling shareholder’s amount realized on the sale will include not only the sales price of the shares but also the shareholder’s portion of the Company’s debt allocable to his shares (which is treated as proceeds from the sale of those shares). Depending on the nature of the Company’s activities after having incurred the debt, and the utilization of the borrowed funds, a later sale of shares could result in a larger taxable gain (or a smaller tax loss) than anticipated.

Our structure involves complex provisions of U.S. federal income tax law for which no clear precedent or authority may be available. Our structure also is subject to potential legislative, judicial or administrative change and differing interpretations, possibly on a retroactive basis.

The U.S. federal income tax treatment of holders of the Shares depends in some instances on determinations of fact and interpretations of complex provisions of U.S. federal income tax law for which no clear precedent or authority may be available. You should be aware that the U.S. federal income tax rules are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process, the IRS, and the U.S. Treasury Department, frequently resulting in revised interpretations of established concepts, statutory changes, revisions to regulations and other modifications and interpretations. The IRS pays close attention to the proper application of tax laws to partnerships. The present U.S. federal income tax treatment of an investment in the Shares may be modified by administrative, legislative or judicial interpretation at any time, and any such action may affect investments and commitments previously made. For example, changes to the U.S. federal tax laws and interpretations thereof could make it more difficult or impossible to meet the qualifying income exception for us to be treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes that is not taxable as a corporation, affect or cause us to change our investments and commitments, affect the tax considerations of an investment in us and adversely affect an investment in our Shares. Our organizational documents and agreements permit the Board of Directors to modify our operating agreement from time to time, without the consent of the holders of Shares, in order to address certain changes in U.S. federal income tax regulations, legislation or interpretation. In some circumstances, such revisions could have a material adverse impact on some or all of the holders of our Shares. Moreover, we will apply certain assumptions and conventions in an attempt to comply with applicable rules and to report income, gain, deduction, loss and credit to holders in a manner that reflects such holders’ beneficial ownership of partnership items, taking into account variation in ownership interests during each taxable

 

65


Table of Contents

year because of trading activity. However, these assumptions and conventions may not be in compliance with all aspects of applicable tax requirements. It is possible that the IRS will assert successfully that the conventions and assumptions used by us do not satisfy the technical requirements of the Code and/or Treasury regulations and could require that items of income, gain, deductions, loss or credit, including interest deductions, be adjusted, reallocated, or disallowed, in a manner that adversely affects holders of the Shares.

Risks Relating Generally to Our Businesses

The recent disruption in the overall economy and the financial markets will adversely impact our business.

Many industries, including our businesses, have been affected by current economic factors, including the significant deterioration of global economic conditions, declines in employment levels, and shifts in consumer spending patterns. The recent disruptions in the overall economy and volatility in the financial markets have greatly reduced, and may continue to reduce, consumer confidence in the economy, negatively affecting consumer spending, which could be harmful to our financial position. Disruptions in the overall economy may also lead to a lower collection rate on billings as consumers or businesses are unable to pay their bills in a timely fashion. Decreased cash flow generated from our products may adversely affect our financial position and our ability to fund our operations. In addition, macro-economic disruptions, as well as the restructuring of various commercial and investment banking organizations, could adversely affect our ability to access the credit markets. The disruption in the credit markets may also adversely affect the availability of financing to support our strategy for growth through future acquisitions. There is a risk that government responses to the disruptions in the financial markets will not restore consumer confidence, stabilize the markets, or increase liquidity and the availability of credit.

Impairment of our intangible assets could result in significant charges that would adversely impact our future operating results.

We have significant intangible assets, including goodwill with an indefinite life, which are susceptible to valuation adjustments as a result of changes in various factors or conditions. The most significant intangible assets on our balance sheet are goodwill, technologies, customer relationships and trademarks we acquired when we acquired our businesses. Customer relationships are amortized on a straight line basis based upon the pattern in which the economic benefits of customer relationships are being utilized. Other identifiable intangible assets are amortized on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives. We assess the potential impairment of goodwill and indefinite lived intangible assets on an annual basis, as well as whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. We assess definite lived intangible assets whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable.

Factors that could trigger impairment include the following:

 

   

significant underperformance relative to historical or projected future operating results;

 

   

significant changes in the manner of or use of the acquired assets or the strategy for our overall business;

 

   

significant negative industry or economic trends;

 

   

significant decline in our stock price for a sustained period;

 

   

changes in our organization or management reporting structure could result in additional reporting units, which may require alternative methods of estimating fair values or greater desegregation or aggregation in our analysis by reporting unit; and

 

   

a decline in our market capitalization below net book value.

As of December 31, 2011, we had identified indefinite lived intangible assets with a carrying value in our financial statements of $138.0 million, and goodwill of $245.3 million.

During the year ended December 31, 2011 we wrote off $5.9 million of goodwill, $2.5 million in intangible assets associated with the trade name and $15.9 million of customer relationships, all associated with American Furniture.

Further adverse changes in the operations of our businesses or other unforeseeable factors could result in an impairment charge in future periods that would impact our results of operations and financial position in that period.

 

66


Table of Contents

Our businesses are subject to unplanned business interruptions which may adversely affect our performance.

Operational interruptions and unplanned events at one or more of our production facilities, such as explosions, fires, inclement weather, natural disasters, accidents, transportation interruptions and supply could cause substantial losses in our production capacity. Furthermore, because customers may be dependent on planned deliveries from us, customers that have to reschedule their own operations due to our delivery delays may be able to pursue financial claims against us, and we may incur costs to correct such problems in addition to any liability resulting from such claims. Such interruptions may also harm our reputation among actual and potential customers, potentially resulting in a loss of business. To the extent these losses are not covered by insurance, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows may be adversely affected by such events.

Our businesses rely and may rely on their intellectual property and licenses to use others’ intellectual property, for competitive advantage. If our businesses are unable to protect their intellectual property, are unable to obtain or retain licenses to use other’s intellectual property, or if they infringe upon or are alleged to have infringed upon others’ intellectual property, it could have a material adverse effect on their financial condition, business and results of operations.

Each businesses’ success depends in part on their, or licenses to use others’, brand names, proprietary technology and manufacturing techniques. These businesses rely on a combination of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions to protect their intellectual property rights. The steps they have taken to protect their intellectual property rights may not prevent third parties from using their intellectual property and other proprietary information without their authorization or independently developing intellectual property and other proprietary information that is similar. In addition, the laws of foreign countries may not protect our businesses’ intellectual property rights effectively or to the same extent as the laws of the United States. Stopping unauthorized use of their proprietary information and intellectual property, and defending claims that they have made unauthorized use of others’ proprietary information or intellectual property, may be difficult, time-consuming and costly. The use of their intellectual property and other proprietary information by others, and the use by others of their intellectual property and proprietary information, could reduce or eliminate any competitive advantage they have developed, cause them to lose sales or otherwise harm their business.

Our businesses may become involved in legal proceedings and claims in the future either to protect their intellectual property or to defend allegations that they have infringed upon others’ intellectual property rights. These claims and any resulting litigation could subject them to significant liability for damages and invalidate their property rights. In addition, these lawsuits, regardless of their merits, could be time consuming and expensive to resolve and could divert management’s time and attention. The costs associated with any of these actions could be substantial and could have a material adverse effect on their financial condition, business and results of operations.

The operations and research and development of some of our businesses’ services and technology depend on the collective experience of their technical employees. If these employees were to leave our businesses and take this knowledge, our businesses’ operations and their ability to compete effectively could be materially adversely impacted.

The future success of some of our businesses depends upon the continued service of their technical personnel who have developed and continue to develop their technology and products. If any of these employees leave our businesses, the loss of their technical knowledge and experience may materially adversely affect the operations and research and development of current and future services. We may also be unable to attract technical individuals with comparable experience because competition for such technical personnel is intense. If our businesses are not able to replace their technical personnel with new employees or attract additional technical individuals, their operations may suffer as they may be unable to keep up with innovations in their respective industries. As a result, their ability to continue to compete effectively and their operations may be materially adversely affected.

If our businesses are unable to continue the technological innovation and successful commercial introduction of new products and services, their financial condition, business and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

The industries in which our businesses operate, or may operate, experience periodic technological changes and ongoing product improvements. Their results of operations depend significantly on the development of commercially viable new products, product grades and applications, as well as production technologies and their ability to integrate new technologies. Our future growth will depend on their ability to gauge the direction of the commercial and technological progress in all key end-use markets and upon their ability to successfully develop, manufacture and market products in such changing end-use markets. In this regard, they must make ongoing capital investments.

 

67


Table of Contents

In addition, their customers may introduce new generations of their own products, which may require new or increased technological and performance specifications, requiring our businesses to develop customized products. Our businesses may not be successful in developing new products and technology that satisfy their customers’ demand and their customers may not accept any of their new products. If our businesses fail to keep pace with evolving technological innovations or fail to modify their products in response to their customers’ needs in a timely manner, then their financial condition, business and results of operations could be materially adversely affected as a result of reduced sales of their products and sunk developmental costs. These developments may require our personnel staffing business to seek better educated and trained workers, who may not be available in sufficient numbers.

Our businesses could experience fluctuations in the costs of raw materials as a result of inflation and other economic conditions, which fluctuations could have a material adverse effect on their financial condition, business and results of operations.

Changes in inflation could materially adversely affect the costs and availability of raw materials used in our manufacturing businesses, and changes in fuel costs likely will affect the costs of transporting materials from our suppliers and shipping goods to our customers, as well as the effective areas from which we can recruit temporary staffing personnel. For example, for Advanced Circuits, the principal raw materials consist of copper and glass and represent approximately 17.8% of net sales in 2011. Prices for these key raw materials may fluctuate during periods of high demand. The ability by these businesses to offset the effect of increases in raw material prices by increasing their prices is uncertain. If these businesses are unable to cover price increases of these raw materials, their financial condition, business and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

Our businesses do not have and may not have long-term contracts with their customers and clients and the loss of customers and clients could materially adversely affect their financial condition, business and results of operations.

Our businesses are and may be, based primarily upon individual orders and sales with their customers and clients. Our businesses historically have not entered into long-term supply contracts with their customers and clients. As such, their customers and clients could cease using their services or buying their products from them at any time and for any reason. The fact that they do not enter into long-term contracts with their customers and clients means that they have no recourse in the event a customer or client no longer wants to use their services or purchase products from them. If a significant number of their customers or clients elect not to use their services or purchase their products, it could materially adversely affect their financial condition, business and results of operations.

Our businesses are and may be subject to federal, state and foreign environmental laws and regulations that expose them to potential financial liability. Complying with applicable environmental laws requires significant resources, and if our businesses fail to comply, they could be subject to substantial liability.

Some of the facilities and operations of our businesses are and may be subject to a variety of federal, state and foreign environmental laws and regulations including laws and regulations pertaining to the handling, storage and transportation of raw materials, products and wastes, which require and will continue to require significant expenditures to remain in compliance with such laws and regulations currently in place and in the future. Compliance with current and future environmental laws is a major consideration for our businesses as any material violations of these laws can lead to substantial liability, revocations of discharge permits, fines or penalties. Because some of our businesses use hazardous materials and generate hazardous wastes in their operations, they may be subject to potential financial liability for costs associated with the investigation and remediation of their own sites, or sites at which they have arranged for the disposal of hazardous wastes, if such sites become contaminated. Even if they fully comply with applicable environmental laws and are not directly at fault for the contamination, our businesses may still be liable. Costs associated with these risks could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, business and results of operations.

Defects in the products provided by our companies could result in financial or other damages to their customers, which could result in reduced demand for our companies’ products and/or liability claims against our companies.

As manufacturers and distributors of consumer products, certain of our companies are subject to various laws, rules and regulations, which may empower governmental agencies and authorities to exclude from the market products that are found to be unsafe or hazardous. Under certain circumstances, a governmental authority could require our companies to repurchase or recall one or more of their products. Additionally, laws regulating certain consumer products exist in some cities and states, as well as in other countries in which they sell their products, where more restrictive laws and regulations exist or may be adopted in the future. Any repurchase or recall of such products could be costly and could damage the reputation of our companies. If any of our companies were required to remove, or voluntarily remove, their products from the market, their reputation may be tarnished and they may have large quantities of finished products that they cannot sell. Additionally, our companies may be subject to regulatory actions that could harm their reputations, adversely impact the values of their brands and/or increase the cost of production.

Our companies also face exposure to product liability claims in the event that one of their products is alleged to have resulted in property damage, bodily injury or other adverse effects. Defects in products could result in customer dissatisfaction or a reduction in, or cancellation of, future purchases or liability claims against our companies. If these defects occur frequently, our reputation may be impaired permanently. Defects in products could also result in financial or other damages to customers, for which our companies may be asked or required to compensate their customers, in the form of substantial monetary judgments or otherwise. While our companies take the steps deemed necessary to comply with all laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that rapidly changing safety standards will not render unsaleable products that complied with previously-applicable safety standards. As a result, these types of claims could have a material adverse effect on our businesses, results of operations and financial condition.

 

68


Table of Contents

Some of our businesses are subject to certain risks associated with the movement of businesses offshore.

Some of our businesses are potentially at risk of losing business to competitors operating in lower cost countries. An additional risk is the movement offshore of some of our businesses’ customers, leading them to procure products or services from more closely located companies. Either of these factors could negatively impact our financial condition, business and results of operations.

Loss of key customers of some of our businesses could negatively impact financial condition.

Some of our businesses have significant exposure to certain key customers, the loss of which could negatively impact our financial condition, business and results of operations.

Our businesses are subject to certain risks associated with their foreign operations or business they conduct in foreign jurisdictions.

Some of our businesses have and may have operations or conduct business outside the United States. Certain risks are inherent in operating or conducting business in foreign jurisdictions, including exposure to local economic conditions; difficulties in enforcing agreements and collecting receivables through certain foreign legal systems; longer payment cycles for foreign customers; adverse currency exchange controls; exposure to risks associated with changes in foreign exchange rates; potential adverse changes in political environments; withholding taxes and restrictions on the withdrawal of foreign investments and earnings; export and import restrictions; difficulties in enforcing intellectual property rights; and required compliance with a variety of foreign laws and regulations. These risks individually and collectively have the potential to negatively impact our financial condition, business and results of operations.

Risks Related to Advanced Circuits

Unless Advanced Circuits is able to respond to technological change at least as quickly as its competitors, its services could be rendered obsolete, which could materially adversely affect its financial condition, business and results of operations.

The market for Advanced Circuits’ services is characterized by rapidly changing technology and continuing process development. The future success of its business will depend in large part upon its ability to maintain and enhance its technological capabilities, retain qualified engineering and technical personnel, develop and market services that meet evolving customer needs and successfully anticipate and respond to technological changes on a cost-effective and timely basis. Advanced Circuits’ core manufacturing capabilities are for 2 to 12 layer printed circuit boards. Trends towards miniaturization and increased performance of electronic products are dictating the use of printed circuit boards with increased layer counts. If this trend continues Advanced Circuits may not be able to effectively respond to the technological requirements of the changing market. If it determines that new technologies and equipment are required to remain competitive, the development, acquisition and implementation of these technologies may require significant capital investments. It may be unable to obtain capital for these purposes in the future, and investments in new technologies may not result in commercially viable technological processes. Any failure to anticipate and adapt to its customers’ changing technological needs and requirements or retain qualified engineering and technical personnel could materially adversely affect its financial condition, business and results of operations.

Advanced Circuits’ customers operate in industries that experience rapid technological change resulting in short product life cycles and as a result, if the product life cycles of its customers slow materially, and research and development expenditures are reduced, its financial condition, business and results of operations will be materially adversely affected.

Advanced Circuits’ customers compete in markets that are characterized by rapidly changing technology, evolving industry standards and continuous improvement in products and services. These conditions frequently result in short product life cycles. As professionals operating in research and development departments represent the majority of Advanced Circuits’ net sales, the rapid development of electronic products is a key driver of Advanced Circuits’ sales and operating performance. Any decline in the development and introduction of new electronic products could slow the demand for Advanced Circuits’ services and could have a material adverse effect on its financial condition, business and results of operations.

Electronics manufacturing services corporations are increasingly acting as intermediaries, positioning themselves between PCB manufacturers and OEMS, which could reduce operating margins.

Advanced Circuits’ OEM customers are increasingly outsourcing the assembly of equipment to third party manufacturers. These third party manufacturers typically assemble products for multiple customers and often purchase circuit boards from

 

69


Table of Contents

Advanced Circuits in larger quantities than OEM manufacturers. The ability of Advanced Circuits to sell products to these customers at margins comparable to historical averages is uncertain. Any material erosion in margins could have a material adverse effect on Advanced Circuits’ financial condition, business and results of operations.

Risks Related to American Furniture Manufacturing

Competition from larger furniture manufacturers may adversely affect American Furniture Manufacturing’s business and operating results.

The residential upholstered furniture industry is highly competitive. Certain of American Furniture Manufacturing’s competitors are larger, have broader product lines and offer widely-advertised, well-known, branded products. If such larger competitors introduce additional products in the promotional segment of the upholstered furniture market, the segment in which American Furniture Manufacturing primarily participates, it may negatively impact American Furniture Manufacturing’s market share and financial performance.

The continued economic downturn has impacted AFM’s ability to meet the financial covenant requirements of its credit facility pursuant to which we are the lender. We are both the majority shareholder and lender to AFM and further deterioration in the business environment in which AFM operates could affect our relationship with AFM.

AFM’s results of operations are affected by many economic factors, including the level of economic activity in the markets in which AFM operates. The retail promotional furniture business has been impacted by a variety of factors relating to the recent economic downturn, including high unemployment, lack of consumer credit, increased fuel costs and the depressed housing market. To ensure ongoing compliance with the financial covenants of AFM’s credit facility, we, in our capacity as the majority shareholder of AFM, contributed equity proceeds of approximately $5.8 million in 2011. While we continue to be confident in AFM’s ability to execute on its business strategy as described in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations below, if unfavorable economic conditions continue to challenge the furniture industry we may seek strategic alternatives with respect to our investment in AFM.

Risks Related to Tridien

Certain of Tridien’s products are subject to regulation by the FDA.

Certain of Tridien’s mattress products are Class II devices within Section 201(h) of the Federal FDCA (21 USC §321(h), and, as such, are subject to the requirements of the FDCA and certain rules and regulations of the FDA. Prior to our acquisition of Tridien, one of its subsidiaries received a warning letter from the FDA in connection with certain deficiencies identified during a regular FDA audit, including noncompliance with certain design control requirements, certain of the good manufacturing practice regulations defined in 21 C.F.R. 820 and certain record keeping requirements. Tridien’s subsidiary has undertaken corrective measures to address the deficiencies and continues to fully cooperate with the FDA. Tridien is vulnerable to actions that may be taken by the FDA which have a material adverse effect on Tridien and/or its business. The FDA has the authority to inspect without notice, and to take any disciplinary action that it sees fit.

A change in Medicare Reimbursement Guidelines may reduce demand for Tridien’s products.

Certain changes in Medicare Reimbursement Guidelines may reduce demand for medical support surfaces and have a material effect on Tridien’s operating performance.

Two of Tridien’s largest customers represented approximately 64.2% of its gross sales in 2011.

Tridien has significant exposure to two key customers. The loss of either customer could negatively impact Tridien’s financial condition, business and results of operations.

On February 3, 2012, the IRS and the Treasury Department issued proposed regulations that would impose a 2.3% medical device excise tax on the sale of certain medical devices by the manufacturer, producer or importer of the device.

If the proposed regulations which impose a 2.3% excise tax on the sale of medical devices on manufacturers of those devices is passed and Tridien is unable to pass the tax on to its customers, such tax may have a material adverse effect on gross profit, operating income and CAD.

Risks Related to Fox

Growth in popularity of alternative recreational activities may reduce demand for mountain bikes and off road products which would reduce demand for Fox’s products.

Mountain biking and other off-road sports compete against numerous recreational activities for share of time and spend of enthusiasts. Any growth in popularity of other outdoor activities at the expense of mountain biking and off-road sports could lead to a decrease in demand for the company’s products and could materially adversely affect Fox’s financial condition, business and results of operations.

 

70


Table of Contents

Risks Related to HALO

Increases in the portion of existing customers and potential customers buying directly from manufacturers or exclusively over the internet could have a material adverse effect on the business of HALO.

The promotional products industry supply chain is comprised of multiple levels. As a distributor, HALO does not manufacturer or decorate the promotional products it sells. Additionally, in recent years there have been a number of suppliers and distributors who have attempted to sell directly to customers over the internet with varying levels of success. Though management believes distributors and account executives play crucial roles in the industry supply chain, increases in the portion of end customers buying directly from manufacturers or exclusively through the internet could have a material adverse effect on the business of HALO.

The loss of a significant number of account executives could adversely affect the business of HALO.

HALO relies on its large staff of account executives to develop and maintain relationships with end customers. HALO’s sales force is comprised of both full time employees and sub-contractors. These professionals have relationships with customers of varying sizes and profitability. Though management believes its compensation structure and support of its sales forces is comparable or better than many industry participants, there can be no assurances that HALO will be able to retain their continuing services. The loss of a significant number of account executives could adversely affect the business of HALO.

HALO relies on suppliers for the timely delivery of products to end customers. Delays in the delivery of promotional products to customers could adversely affect HALO’s results of operations.

HALO often relies on many of its suppliers to ship directly to its end customers (“drop-shipments”). Delays in the shipment of products or supply shortages in promotional products in high demand could affect HALO’s standing with its end customers and adversely affect HALO’s results of operations.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

NONE

 

71


Table of Contents

ITEM 2. – PROPERTIES

Advanced Circuits

Advanced Circuits operations are located in a 61,058 square foot building in Aurora, Colorado and a 29,942 square foot building in Tempe, Arizona. These facilities are leased and comprise both the factory and office space. The lease terms are for approximately 15 years with a renewal option at the Aurora, Colorado location for an additional 10 years.

American Furniture

American Furniture operates primarily from a manufacturing and warehousing facility located in Ecru, MS, of which approximately 750,000 square feet was refurbished in 2008 as a result of damage caused by a fire in 2008. This 1.1 million square foot facility includes 350,000 square feet of manufacturing space, 750,000 square feet of warehouse space and 82 shipping docks. AFM can add additional manufacturing lines within its existing footprint to accommodate demand during peak times. In addition to AFM’s primary manufacturing facility, AFM owns or leases approximately 300,000 square feet of warehouse and small manufacturing space within the vicinity of its primary Ecru facility. AFM also leases approximately 12,000 square feet of showroom space in High Point, North Carolina, allowing it to showcase its products to buyers during trade shows held in the area.

CamelBak

CamelBak’s headquarters is located in Petaluma, California where they lease approximately 33,000 square feet of office space and an additional 1,000 square feet of storage space. CamelBak also leases manufacturing and warehouse facilities in San Diego, California (124,000 square feet) and Tijuana, Mexico (37,000 square feet), and office space in Mareveles, Phillipines (6,000 square feet) and in Bassano, Italy (1,400 square feet).

ERGObaby

ERGObaby operates out of five offices. Its corporate headquarters is in Los Angeles, California where it leases 6,860 square feet. ERGObaby’s European headquarters is located in Hamburg, Germany where it leases approximately 2,411 square feet. ERGObaby also leases two sales offices in Paris, France and Stockholm, Sweden. ERGObaby also leases 2,426 square feet of office space in Pukalani, Hawaii. Orbit Baby leases 41,400 square feet of office, manufacturing and warehouse space in Newark, California.

Fox

Fox’s corporate headquarters and main manufacturing facilities are located in an 86,000 square foot facility located in Scotts Valley, California. In addition, Fox leases seven other smaller facilities totaling approximately 172,000 square feet in the surrounding Scotts Valley area.

HALO

HALO distributes its products through a leased 25,000 square foot office facility and a 72,000 square foot fulfillment warehouse, both of which are located in Sterling, IL. Due to its high percentage of drop shipments, HALO is able to operate from a much smaller warehouse than a similarly sized company with a traditional inventory-based business model. HALO also maintains a small IT department in Oak Brook, IL and an office for its CEO in Chicago.

The following table shows the number of HALO leases located in each state and the function as of December 31, 2011.

 

State

 

Function

 

Offices

 

Square feet

California

  Sales   1   6,252

Illinois

  Administration   2   25,450
  Information Technology   1   5,572
  Warehousing   2   72,000

Louisiana

  Sales   1   1,919

Ohio

  Administration   2   3,796

Ohio

  Sales   1   2,853

Texas

  Sales   3   21,554

Tennessee

  Sales   1   5,948

Missouri

  Administration   1   5,960

Kansas

  Sales   1   2,618

Maryland

  Sales   1   1,500

Florida

  Sales   1   2.373

Oklahoma

  Administration   1   5,500

Georgia

  Sales   1   1,550

Colorado

  Warehouse   1   914

Colorado

  Sales   1   5,816

 

72


Table of Contents

Liberty Safe

Liberty Safe leases offices and warehouse facilities at two locations in Payson, Utah. The corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility are located in a 204,000 square foot building. Liberty leases an additional warehouse facility totaling approximately 7,200 square feet.

Tridien

Tridien leases a 33,000 square foot facility in Coral Springs, Florida, which houses its manufacturing and distribution operations for the east coast and an 81,000 square foot facility in Corona, California, which houses the manufacturing and distribution facilities for the west coast. Tridien also leases a 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility and warehouse facility in Fishers, Indiana.

Our corporate offices are located in Westport, Connecticut, where we lease approximately 1,500 square feet from our Manager.

We believe that our properties and the terms of their leases at each of our businesses are sufficient to meet our present needs and we do not anticipate any difficulty in securing additional space, as needed, on acceptable terms.

 

73


Table of Contents

ITEM 3. – LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

In the normal course of business, we are involved in various claims and legal proceedings. While the ultimate resolution of these matters has yet to be determined, we do not believe that their outcome will have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.

 

74


Table of Contents

ITEM 4. – MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not Applicable.

 

75


Table of Contents

Part II

Item 5. – Market for Registrants’ Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Our Trust stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CODI” since November 1, 2011. Previously, our stock was traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “CODI.” The following table sets forth the high and low sales prices per share as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market until November 1, 2011, at which time our shares began trading on the NYSE, and thereafter on the NYSE. The highest and lowest sales prices per share of Trust stock were $11.00 and $18.16, respectively, for the periods presented below:

 

Quarter Ended

   High      Low      Distribution
Declared
 

December 31, 2011

   $ 13.99       $ 11.24       $ 0.36   

September 30, 2011

     17.36         11.21         0.36   

June 30, 2011

     16.90         14.61         0.36   

March 31, 2011

     18.06         14.01         0.36   

December 31, 2010

     18.16         15.92         0.34   

September 30, 2010

     16.30         13.03         0.34   

June 30, 2010

     16.30         11.00         0.34   

March 31, 2010

     16.08         11.45         0.34   

COMPARATIVE PERFORMANCE OF SHARES OF TRUST STOCK

The performance graph shown below compares the change in cumulative total shareholder return on shares of Trust stock with the NYSE Composite Index, the NYSE Financial Sector Index, the NASDAQ Other Finance Index and the NASDAQ Stock Market Index from May 16, 2006, when we completed our initial public offering, through the quarter ended December 31, 2011. The graph sets the beginning value of shares of Trust stock and the indices at $100, and assumes that all quarterly dividends were reinvested at the time of payment. This graph does not forecast future performance of shares of Trust stock.

 

LOGO

 

76


Table of Contents
Data    June 30, 2006      September 30, 2006      December 31, 2006  

Compass Diversified Holdings

   $ 94.88       $ 102.73       $ 117.00   

NASDAQ Stock Market Index

   $ 97.44       $ 101.31       $ 108.35   

NASDAQ Other Finance Index

   $ 94.03       $ 104.02       $ 107.59   

NYSE Financial Sector Index

   $ 96.28       $ 102.56       $ 109.91   

NYSE Composite Index

   $ 97.39       $ 100.98       $ 108.96   

 

Data

   March 31, 2007      June 30, 2007      September 30, 2007      December 31, 2007  

Compass Diversified Holdings

   $ 116.32       $ 125.83       $ 115.41       $ 109.10   

NASDAQ Stock Market Index

   $ 108.64       $ 116.78       $ 121.19       $ 118.98   

NASDAQ Other Finance Index

   $ 104.70       $ 112.86       $ 107.18       $ 108.11   

NYSE Financial Sector Index

   $ 108.12       $ 110.18       $ 106.81       $ 95.51   

NYSE Composite Index

   $ 110.42       $ 117.71       $ 119.69       $ 116.13   

 

Data

   March 31, 2008      June 30, 2008      September 30, 2008      December 31, 2008  

Compass Diversified Holdings

   $ 98.39       $ 87.54       $ 109.45       $ 90.41   

NASDAQ Stock Market Index

   $ 102.24       $ 102.86       $ 93.84       $ 70.75   

NASDAQ Other Finance Index

   $ 86.86       $ 85.52       $ 90.56       $ 57.91   

NYSE Financial Sector Index

   $ 83.31       $ 71.39       $ 69.23       $ 44.28   

NYSE Composite Index

   $ 104.88       $ 103.25       $ 89.81       $ 68.64   

 

Data

   March 31, 2009      June 30, 2009      September 30, 2009      December 31, 2009  

Compass Diversified Holdings

   $ 73.55       $ 68.75       $ 91.64       $ 114.42   

NASDAQ Stock Market Index

   $ 68.57       $ 82.32       $ 95.21       $ 101.80   

NASDAQ Other Finance Index

   $ 55.01       $ 68.57       $ 74.63       $ 75.76   

NYSE Financial Sector Index

   $ 33.01       $ 44.86       $ 56.70       $ 54.32   

NYSE Composite Index

   $ 59.39       $ 70.40       $ 82.39       $ 85.66   

 

Data

   March 31, 2010      June 30, 2010      September 30, 2010      December 31, 2010  

Compass Diversified Holdings

   $ 139.58       $ 124.69       $ 152.90       $ 169.77   

NASDAQ Stock Market Index

   $ 107.57       $ 94.62       $ 106.26       $ 119.01   

NASDAQ Other Finance Index

   $ 77.58       $ 67.39       $ 70.23       $ 84.52   

NYSE Financial Sector Index

   $ 58.00       $ 49.31       $ 53.76       $ 57.05   

NYSE Composite Index

   $ 88.80       $ 77.13       $ 86.81       $ 94.95   

 

Data

   March 31, 2011      June 30, 2011      September 30, 2011      December 31, 2011  

Compass Diversified Holdings

   $ 143.35       $ 163.05       $ 122.22       $ 126.56   

NASDAQ Stock Market Index

   $ 124.76       $ 124.42       $ 108.36       $ 116.87   

NASDAQ Other Finance Index

   $ 86.58       $ 82.50       $ 66.10       $ 71.25   

NYSE Financial Sector Index

   $ 59.27       $ 56.77       $ 43.78       $ 46.75   

NYSE Composite Index

   $ 100.21       $ 99.18       $ 80.97       $ 89.14   

Shareholders

As of February 25, 2012, we had 48,300,000 shares of Trust stock outstanding that were held by sixteen holders of record; however, we believe the number of beneficial owners of our shares is over 20,000.

 

77


Table of Contents

Distributions

For the years 2010 and 2011 we have declared and paid quarterly cash distributions to holders of record as follows:

 

Quarter Ended

 

Declaration Date

 

Payment Date

 

Distribution Per Share

 

December 31, 2011

  January 5, 2012   January 30, 2012   $ 0.36   

September 30, 2011

  October 10, 2011   October 31, 2011   $ 0.36   

June 30, 2011

  July 6, 2011   July 28, 2011   $ 0.36   

March 31, 2011

  March 10, 2011   April 12, 2011   $ 0.36   

December 31, 2010

  January 5, 2011   January 28, 2011   $ 0.34   

September 30, 2010

  October 7, 2010   October 29, 2010   $ 0.34   

June 30, 2010

  July 9, 2010   July 30, 2010   $ 0.34   

March 31, 2010

  April 8, 2010   April 30, 2010   $ 0.34   

We currently intend to continue to declare and pay regular quarterly cash distributions on all outstanding shares through fiscal 2012. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources” in Part II, Item 7.

 

78


Table of Contents

ITEM 6. – SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following table sets forth selected historical and other data of the Company and should be read in conjunction with the more detailed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report. Selected financial data below includes the results of operations, cash flow and balance sheet data of the Company for the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007. We completed our IPO on May 16, 2006 and used the proceeds of the IPO and separate private placement transactions that closed in conjunction with our IPO, and from our Prior Credit Agreement, to purchase controlling interests in four of our initial operating subsidiaries. The following table details our acquisitions and dispositions subsequent to our IPO.

 

Acquisitions:

 

Acquisition Date

 

Disposition Date

Advanced Circuits(1)

  May 16, 2006   n/a

Staffmark(1)

  May 16, 2006   October 17, 2011

Crosman(1)

  May 16, 2006   January 5, 2007

Silvue(1)

  May 16, 2006   June 25, 2008

Tridien

  August 1, 2006   n/a

Aeroglide

  February 28, 2007   June 24, 2008

HALO

  February 28, 2007   n/a

American Furniture

  August 31, 2007   n/a

Fox

  January 4, 2008   n/a

Liberty

  March 31, 2010   n/a

ERGObaby

  September 16, 2010   n/a

CamelBak

  August 24, 2011   n/a

 

(1)

Represent initial operating subsidiaries.

The operating results for Staffmark are reflected as discontinued operations in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007 and are not included in the continuing operations data below. The operating results for Aeroglide are reflected as discontinued operations in 2008 and 2007 and are not included in the continuing operations data below. The operating results for Silvue are reflected as discontinued operations in 2008 and 2007 and are not included in the continuing operations data below. Data included below only includes activity in our operating subsidiaries from their respective dates of acquisition.

 

     Year ended December 31,  
Statements of Operations Data:    2011     2010     2009     2008     2007  

Net sales

   $ 777,538      $ 664,599      $ 503,400      $ 532,127      $ 271,911   

Cost of sales

     523,967        463,560        351,335        370,206        179,208   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

     253,571        201,039        152,065        161,921        92,703   

Operating expenses:

          

Selling, general and administrative

     172,489        136,472        100,453        111,170        62,274   

Supplemental put expense (reversal)

     11,783        32,516        (1,329     6,382        7,400   

Management fees

     16,783        15,076        12,441        13,490        9,065   

Amortization expense

     24,507        19,442        14,788        15,129        6,982   

Impairment expense

     27,769        38,835        —          —          —     
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Operating income (loss)

   $ 240      $ (41,302   $ 25,712      $ 15,750      $ 6,982   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations

   $ (25,974   $ (62,352   $ 1,933      $ (7,893   $ (3,423

Income (loss) and gain from discontinued operations

     98,786        17,582        (41,578     89,680        54,788   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss)

     72,812        (44,770     (39,645     81,787        51,365   

Net income (loss) from continuing operations - noncontrolling interest

     6,142        1,048        2,334        1,719        10,665   

Net income (loss) from discontinued operations - noncontrolling interest

     1,711        2,939        (15,709     1,774        332   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss) attributable to Holdings

   $ 64,959      $ (48,757   $ (26,270   $ 78,294      $ 40,368   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Basic and fully diluted income (loss) per share attributable to Holdings:

          

Continuing operations

   $ (0.68   $ (1.55   $ (0.01   $ (0.30   $ (0.51

Discontinued operations

     2.05        0.36        (0.75     2.78        1.97   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Basic and fully diluted income (loss) per share attributable to Holdings

   $ 1.37      $ (1.19   $ (0.76   $ 2.48      $ 1.46   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cash Flow Data:

          

Cash provided by operating activities

   $ 91,374      $ 44,841      $ 20,213      $ 40,549      $ 41,772   

Cash used in investing activities

     (86,620     (182,392     (4,982     (24,793     (114,158

Cash (used in) provided by financing activities

     114,080        119,592        (81,209     (37,561     184,882   

Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents

     118,834        (17,959     (65,978     (21,885     112,352   

 

79


Table of Contents
     December 31,  
     2011      2010      2009      2008      2007  

Balance Sheet Data:

              

Current assets

   $ 360,221       $ 333,339       $ 275,027       $ 335,201       $ 299,241   

Total assets

     1,029,906         984,041         831,012         984,336         828,002   

Current liabilities

     118,162         151,404         129,887         139,370         106,613   

Long-term debt

     214,000         94,000         74,000         151,000         148,000   

Total liabilities

     433,428         408,131         322,946         440,458         367,426   

Noncontrolling interests

     98,969         87,840         70,905         79,431         27,726   

Shareholders’ equity attributable to Holdings

     497,509         488,070         437,161         464,447         432,850   

 

80


Table of Contents

ITEM 7. – MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

This item 7 contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control. Our actual results, performance, prospects or opportunities could differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements. Additional risks of which we are not currently aware or which we currently deem immaterial could also cause our actual results to differ, including those discussed in the sections entitled “Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” included elsewhere in this Annual Report.

Overview

Compass Diversified Holdings, a Delaware statutory trust, was incorporated in Delaware on November 18, 2005. Compass Group Diversified Holdings, LLC, a Delaware limited liability Company, was also formed on November 18, 2005. In accordance with the Trust Agreement, the Trust is sole owner of 100% of the Trust Interests (as defined in the LLC Agreement) of the Company and, pursuant to the LLC Agreement, the Company has outstanding, the identical number of Trust Interests as the number of outstanding shares of the Trust. The Manager is the sole owner of the Allocation Interests of the Company. The Company is the operating entity with a board of directors and other corporate governance responsibilities, similar to that of a Delaware corporation.

The Trust and the Company were formed to acquire and manage a group of small and middle-market businesses headquartered in North America. We characterize small and middle market businesses as those that generate annual cash flows of up to $60 million. We focus on companies of this size because we believe that these companies are more able to achieve growth rates above those of their relevant industries and are also frequently more susceptible to efforts to improve earnings and cash flow.

In pursuing new acquisitions, we seek businesses with the following characteristics:

 

   

North American base of operations;

 

   

stable and growing earnings and cash flow;

 

   

maintains a significant market share in defensible industry niche (i.e., has a “reason to exist”);

 

   

solid and proven management team with meaningful incentives;

 

   

low technological and/or product obsolescence risk; and

 

   

a diversified customer and supplier base.

Our management team’s strategy for our subsidiaries involves:

 

   

utilizing structured incentive compensation programs tailored to each business in order to attract, recruit and retain talented managers to operate our businesses;

 

   

regularly monitoring financial and operational performance, instilling consistent financial discipline, and supporting management in the development and implementation of information systems to effectively achieve these goals;

 

   

assisting management in their analysis and pursuit of prudent organic cash flow growth strategies (both revenue and cost related);

 

   

identifying and working with management to execute attractive external growth and acquisition opportunities; and

 

   

forming strong subsidiary level boards of directors to supplement management in their development and implementation of strategic goals and objectives.

Based on the experience of our management team and its ability to identify and negotiate acquisitions, we believe we are well positioned to acquire additional attractive businesses. Our management team has a large network of approximately 2,000 deal intermediaries to whom it actively markets and who we expect to expose us to potential acquisitions. Through

 

81


Table of Contents

this network, as well as our management team’s active proprietary transaction sourcing efforts, we typically have a substantial pipeline of potential acquisition targets. In consummating transactions, our management team has, in the past, been able to successfully navigate complex situations surrounding acquisitions, including corporate spin-offs, transitions of family-owned businesses, management buy-outs and reorganizations. We believe the flexibility, creativity, experience and expertise of our management team in structuring transactions provides us with a strategic advantage by allowing us to consider non-traditional and complex transactions tailored to fit a specific acquisition target.

In addition, because we intend to fund acquisitions through the utilization of our Revolving Credit Facility, we do not expect to be subject to delays in or conditions by closing acquisitions that would be typically associated with transaction specific financing, as is typically the case in such acquisitions. We believe this advantage is a powerful one and is highly unusual in the marketplace for acquisitions in which we operate.

Initial public offering and Company formation

On May 16, 2006, we completed our initial public offering of 13,500,000 shares of the Trust at an offering price of $15.00 per share (the “IPO”). Subsequent to the IPO the Company’s board of directors engaged our Manager to externally manage the day-to-day operations and affairs of the Company, oversee the management and operations of the businesses and to perform those services customarily performed by executive officers of a public company.

From May 16, 2006 through December 31, 2011, we purchased twelve businesses (each of our businesses is treated as a separate business segment) and disposed of four, as follows:

Acquisitions

 

   

On May 16, 2006, we made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in CBS Personnel Holdings for $55 million and later Staffmark Holdings, Inc., which we refer to as Staffmark, for approximately $129 million.

 

   

On May 16, 2006, we made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in Crosman for approximately $73 million.

 

   

On May 16, 2006, we made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in Advanced Circuits for approximately $81 million. As of December 31, 2011, we own approximately 69.6% of the common stock on a primary basis and 69.4% fully diluted basis.

 

   

On May 16, 2006, we made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in Silvue for approximately $36 million.

 

   

On August 1, 2006, we made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in Tridien for approximately $31 million. As of December 31, 2011, we own approximately 73.9% of the common stock on a primary basis and 60.0% on a fully diluted basis.

 

   

On February 28, 2007, we made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in Aeroglide for approximately $58 million.

 

   

On February 28, 2007, we made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in HALO for approximately $62 million. As of December 31, 2011, we own approximately 88.7% of the common stock on a primary basis and 72.3% on a fully diluted basis.

 

   

On August 31, 2007, we made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in American Furniture for approximately $97 million. As of December 31, 2011, we own approximately 99.9% of the common stock on a primary basis and 99.9% on a fully diluted basis.

 

   

On January 4, 2008, we made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in Fox for approximately $80.4 million. As of December 31, 2011, we own approximately 78.0% of the common stock on a primary basis and 67.9% on a fully diluted basis.

 

   

On March 31, 2010, we made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in Liberty Safe for approximately $70.2 million. As of December 31, 2011 we own approximately 96.2% on a primary basis and 87.6% on a fully diluted basis.

 

82


Table of Contents
   

On September 16, 2010, we made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in ERGObaby for approximately $85.2 million. As of December 31, 2011, we own approximately 81.1% on a primary basis and 74.6% on a fully diluted basis.

 

   

On August 24, 2011, we made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in CamelBak for approximately $258.6 million. As of December 31 2011, we own approximately 89.9% on a primary basis and 76.7% on a fully diluted basis.

Dispositions

 

   

On January 5, 2007, we sold all of our interest in Crosman, for approximately $143 million. We recorded a gain on the sale in the first quarter of 2007 of approximately $36 million.

 

   

On June 24, 2008, we sold all of our interest in Aeroglide, for approximately $95 million. We recorded a gain on the sale in the second quarter of 2008 of approximately $34 million.

 

   

On June 25, 2008, we sold all of our interest in Silvue, for approximately $95 million. We recorded a gain on the sale in the second quarter of 2008 of approximately $39 million.

 

   

On October 17, 2011, we sold our interest in Staffmark for approximately $217.2 million. We recorded a gain on the sale in the fourth quarter of 2011 of approximately $89 million.

We are dependent on the earnings of, and cash receipts from, the businesses that we own in order to meet our corporate overhead and management fee expenses and to pay distributions. These earnings and distributions, net of any non-controlling interest in these businesses, are available to:

 

   

meet capital expenditure requirements, management fees and corporate overhead charges;

 

   

fund distributions from the businesses to the Company; and

 

   

be distributed by the Trust to shareholders.

2011 Highlights

Acquisitions

 

   

On August 24, 2011, we purchased a controlling interest in CamelBak, with headquarters in Petaluma, California. CamelBak invented the hands-free hydration category and is the global leader in the design and manufacture of personal hydration products for outdoor, recreation and military use. The purchase price of $258.6 million was based on a total enterprise value of $245 million and included $13.6 million in cash and working capital. We funded the acquisition through drawings on our Revolving Credit Facility as well as through funds provided by a private placement of 1,575,000 of our common shares to CMH our largest shareholder. An affiliate of CMH also purchased $45.0 million of convertible preferred stock in CamelBak Acquisition Corp. a majority owned subsidiary of us. On March 6, 2012, CamelBak redeemed its 11% convertible preferred stock for $45.3 million plus accrued dividends of $2.7 million, from an affiliate of CMH ($47.7 million), our largest shareholder, and noncontrolling shareholders ($0.3 million). The redemption was funded by intercompany debt and an equity contribution from us of $19.2 million and $25.9 million, respectively. In addition, noncontrolling shareholders of CamelBak invested $2.9 million of equity in order for us and noncontrolling shareholders in order to maintain existing ownership percentages of CamelBak common stock of 89.9% and 10.1%, respectively.

 

   

On November 21, 2011, our majority owned subsidiary ERGObaby acquired all of the outstanding stock of Orbit Baby, Inc. (“Orbit Baby”) for $17.5 million. The acquisition was funded with cash of $15.0 million and common stock of ERGObaby valued at $2.5 million. Founded in 2004 and based in Newark, California, Orbit Baby produces and markets a premium line of stroller travel systems, including car seats, strollers and bassinets that are interchangeable using a patented hub ring.

Disposition

 

   

On October 17, 2011, we sold our majority-owned subsidiary Staffmark for a total enterprise value of $295 million to a subsidiary of Japan-based Recruit Co., Ltd. We received approximately $217.2 million in net proceeds after deducting fees, costs and non-controlling shareholder’s interests. We recorded a gain of $88.6 million, which is reflected in our consolidated statement of operations as a component of discontinued operations. We used the net proceeds to pay down our Prior Revolving Credit facility.

 

83


Table of Contents

Refinancing

 

   

On October 27, 2011, we entered into a new Credit Facility which includes a Revolving Credit Facility totaling $290 million and a Term Loan Facility totaling $225 million. This Credit Facility, with a group of lenders led by TD Securities, aggregating $515 million, replaces our Prior Credit Agreement which was with a group of lenders led by Madison Capital. The Revolving Credit Facility is for a term of five years and the Term Loan Facility is for a term of six years.

2011 Distributions

For the 2011 fiscal year we declared distributions to our shareholders totaling $1.44 per share.

Impairment charge

We incurred an impairment charge at American Furniture in the years ended December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010 totaling approximately $27.8 million and $38.8 million, respectively. American Furniture incurred an impairment charge to its goodwill ($5.9 million), trade name ($2.4 million) and long-lived assets ($18.4 million) aggregating $26.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2011, which was triggered based on results of operations which had deteriorated significantly during the year. In addition, in connection with the cessation and outsourcing of AFM’s internal trucking operations we reclassified a number of trucks and trailers, as well as a warehouse from property, plant and equipment to assets held for sale. In connection with this, we wrote these assets down from their net book value to an amount equal to their net realizable value less disposal costs with the difference, aggregating approximately $1.1 million, being charged to impairment expense.

During the year ended December 31, 2010, we wrote down the value of goodwill by $35.5 million and the value of its trade name by $3.3 million. The write downs were triggered by a significant deterioration in American Furniture’s operations and profitability caused by an unprecedented drop in the promotional furniture market and demand for its product. The combination of increased unemployment, together with significant decreases in home purchases and availability of consumer credit, has created the worst market for promotional furniture sales over the last two years than has been experienced over the last two decades.

The remaining noncurrent assets subject to fair value testing at American Furniture are its trade name totaling approximately $0.5 million and property and equipment totaling $0.5 million. We do not anticipate any further write downs to American Furniture’s assets going forward.

Areas of focus in 2012

The areas of focus for 2012, which are generally applicable to each of our businesses, include:

 

   

Taking advantage, where possible, of the recent economic downturn by growing market share in each of our market niche leading companies at the expense of less well capitalized competitors;

 

   

Achieving sales growth, technological excellence and manufacturing capability through global expansion;

 

   

Continuing to grow through disciplined, strategic acquisitions and rigorous integration processes;

 

   

Continuing to pursue expense reduction and cost savings through contraction in discretionary spending, and reductions in workforce and production levels in response to lower production volume; and

 

   

Driving free cash flow through increased net income and effective working capital management enabling continued investment in our businesses, strategic acquisitions, and enabling us to return value to our shareholders.

 

84


Table of Contents

Results of Operations

We were formed on November 18, 2005 and acquired our existing businesses (segments) as follows:

 

May 16, 2006

  

August 1, 2006

   February 28, 2007    August 31, 2007    January 4, 2008    March 31, 2010

Advanced Circuits

   Tridien    HALO    American

Furniture

   Fox    Liberty Safe

September 16, 2010

  

August 24, 2011

                   

ERGObaby

   CamelBak            

Fiscal 2011, 2010 and 2009 each represent a full year of operating results included in our consolidated results of operations for five of our businesses. The remaining three businesses were acquired during fiscal 2011 and 2010 (see table above). As a result, we cannot provide a meaningful comparison of our actual historical consolidated results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2011 with the two prior years. In the following results of operations, we provide (i) our actual consolidated results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, which includes the historical results of operations of our businesses (operating segments) from the date of acquisition and (ii) comparative historical results of operations for each of our businesses on a stand-alone basis, for each of the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and for the seven businesses purchased prior to January 1, 2011, we include a comparative 2009 fiscal year as well. All years presented include relevant pro-forma adjustments and explanations where appropriate. The results below do not include the results of Staffmark, as this operating business was sold in October 2011 and its results of operations for all years is reflected as a component of discontinued operations.

Consolidated Results of Operations — Compass Diversified Holdings

 

     Years Ended December 31,  
     2011      2010     2009  
            (in thousands)        

Net sales

   $ 777,538       $ 664,599      $ 503,400   

Cost of sales (1)

     523,967         463,560        351,335   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

     253,571         201,039        152,065   

Selling, general and administrative expense (1)

     172,489         136,472        100,453   

Management fees

     16,783         15,076        12,441   

Supplemental put expense (reversal)

     11,783         32,516        (1,329

Amortization of intangibles

     24,507         19,442        14,788   

Impairment expense

     27,769         38,835        —     
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Operating income (loss)

   $ 240       $ (41,302   $ 25,712   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(1) We reclassified certain costs from selling, general and administrative expense to cost of sales of $6.6 million in 2010 and $7.1 million in 2009 related to AFM’s revaluation of its standard costing system. Refer to AFM’s Results of Operations discussion that follows for more information.

Net sales

On a consolidated basis net sales increased approximately $112.9 million in the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to 2010. This increase in net sales in 2011 is due principally to increased 2011 revenues attributable to recognizing a full fiscal year of revenues for each of our 2010 acquisitions (Liberty $33 million and ERGObaby $32 million) and revenues attributable to our 2011 acquisition (CamelBak $43 million). In addition, increased sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 at Fox ($27 million) and Halo ($11 million) offset in part by a decrease in sales at American Furniture ($31 million) contributed to the increase. Net sales increased approximately $161.2 million, on a consolidated basis during the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. This increase is due principally to sales attributable to our 2010 acquisitions (Liberty $49 million and ERGObaby $12 million) and increases in sales at several of our existing subsidiaries including, Fox ($49 million), Halo ($21 million) and Advanced Circuits ($28 million). The sales increase at Advanced Circuits is attributable in large part to revenues attributable to their acquisition of Circuit Express ($16 million) on March 11, 2010.

Refer to “Results of Operations – Our Businesses” for a more detailed analysis of net sales and revenues by operating segment.

 

85


Table of Contents

We do not generate any revenues apart from those generated by the businesses we own. We may generate interest income on the investment of available funds, but expect such earnings to be minimal. Our investment in our businesses is typically in the form of loans from the Company to such businesses, as well as equity interests in those companies. Cash flows coming to the Trust and the Company are the result of interest payments on those loans, amortization of those loans and, dividends on our equity ownership. However, on a consolidated basis these items are eliminated.

Cost of sales

On a consolidated basis cost of sales increased approximately $60.4 million in the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to 2010 and increased approximately $112.2 million in the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to 2009. These charges are due almost entirely to the corresponding decrease/increase in net sales referred to above.

Refer to “Results of Operations – Our Businesses” for a more detailed analysis of cost of sales by operating segment.

Selling, general and administrative expense

On a consolidated basis, selling, general and administrative expense increased approximately $36.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. The year over year increase is due principally to (i) increased expenses attributable to our 2010 acquisitions (Liberty $4.6 million and ERGObaby $13.7 million) due to inclusion of full year results in 2011 and in ERGObaby’s case some initial infrastructure costs, (ii) expenses attributable to our 2011 acquisition, CamelBak ($10.6 million), and (iii) increases in costs directly and indirectly linked to sales increases and increased operating activity at certain of our subsidiary businesses. On a consolidated basis, selling, general and administrative expense increased approximately $36.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. The year over year increase is due principally to (i) increases in costs directly and indirectly linked to sales increases and increased operating activity at certain of our subsidiary businesses; (ii) selling, general and administrative costs related to our 2010 acquisitions and the Circuit Express acquisition ($13.8 million); (iii) acquisition transaction costs incurred related to the 2010 acquisitions and Circuit Express acquisition ($3.9 million); and, (iv) non-cash compensation cost at Advanced Circuits resulting from options granted to senior management ($3.8 million). At the corporate level general and administrative costs decreased approximately $1.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 due principally to a non-cash charge totaling approximately $1.2 million related to the decrease in value of a call option granted to the former CEO of Tridien that was written down in 2011. For the year ended December 31, 2010 costs at the corporate level increased approximately $0.7 million compared to the comparable period in 2009 due principally to a non-cash charge totaling approximately $1.0 million related to the increase in value of a call option granted to the former CEO of Tridien ($1.0 million) offset in part by a decrease in professional fees principally related to Sarbanes Oxley compliance.

Refer to “Results of Operations – Our Businesses” for a more detailed analysis of selling, general and administrative expense by operating segment.

Management fees

Pursuant to the Management Services Agreement (“MSA”), we pay CGM a quarterly management fee equal to 0.5% (2.0% annualized) of our adjusted net assets, which is defined in the MSA (see Related Party Transactions and Certain Transactions Involving our Businesses). For the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009 we incurred approximately $16.8 million, $15.1 million and $12.4 million, respectively, in expense for these fees. The increase in management fees in 2011 compared to 2010 is due principally to the inclusion of the 2011 acquisition of CamelBak in our consolidated adjusted net assets, offset in part by the $27.8 million impairment charge at American Furniture. The increase in management fees in 2010 compared to 2009 is due principally to the inclusion of the 2010 acquisitions in our consolidated adjusted net assets, offset in part by the $38.8 million impairment charge at American Furniture. Refer to “Related Party Transactions and Certain Transactions Involving our Businesses” for more information about the MSA.

Supplemental put expense (reversal)

In 2006 we entered into a Supplemental Put Agreement with our Manager pursuant to which our Manager has the right to cause us to purchase the Allocation Interests then owned by them upon termination of the MSA. The Company accrued approximately $11.8 million and $32.5 million in expense during the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively, and reversed approximately $1.3 million in expense during 2009 in connection with this agreement. This expense represents the portion of the estimated increase/decrease in the fair value of our businesses over our original basis in those businesses that our Manager is entitled to if the MSA were terminated or those businesses were sold. The significant increase in this liability in 2011 is principally the result of the significant increase in fair value of our Fox segment at December 31, 2011 compared to December 31, 2010 - Please refer to “Related Party Transactions and Certain Transactions Involving our Businesses” for more information about the Supplemental Put Agreement.

Refer to “Critical Accounting Estimates” for more information about the supplemental put liability calculation.

 

86


Table of Contents

Impairment expense

We incurred an impairment charge at American Furniture in the years ended December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010 totaling approximately $27.8 million and $38.8 million, respectively. American Furniture incurred an impairment charge to its goodwill ($5.9 million), trade name ($2.4 million) and long-lived assets ($18.4 million) aggregating $26.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2011, which was triggered based on results of operations which had deteriorated significantly during the year. In addition, in connection with the cessation and outsourcing of AFM’s internal trucking operations we reclassified a number of trucks, trailers and a warehouse from property, plant and equipment to assets held for sale. In connection with this we wrote these assets down from their net book value to an amount equal to their net realizable value less disposal costs with the difference, aggregating approximately $1.1 million, being charged to impairment expense. During the year ended 2010, we wrote down the value of goodwill by $35.5 million and the value of its trade name by $3.3 million. In all cases the write downs were triggered by a significant deterioration in American Furniture’s operations and profitability caused by an unprecedented drop in the promotional furniture market and demand for its product. The combination of increased unemployment, together with significant decreases in home purchases and availability of consumer credit, has created the worst market for promotional furniture sales over the last two years that has been experienced over the last two decades. The remaining noncurrent asset subject to fair value testing at American Furniture are its trade name totaling approximately $0.6 million and property and equipment totaling $0.5 million. We do not anticipate any further write downs to American Furniture’s assets going forward.

Results of Operations — Our Businesses

As previously discussed, we acquired our businesses on various acquisition dates beginning May 16, 2006 (see table above). As a result, our consolidated operating results only include the results of operations since the acquisition date associated with each of our businesses. The following discussion reflects a comparison of the historical results of operations for each of our initial businesses (segments), the 2007, 2008 and 2010 acquisitions for the complete fiscal years ending December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009. For the 2011 acquisition, the following discussion reflects comparative historical results of operations for the entire fiscal years ending December 31, 2011 and 2010 as if we had acquired the businesses on January 1, 2010. When appropriate, relevant pro-forma adjustments are reflected in the historical operating results. Adjustments to depreciation and amortization resulting from purchase allocations that are not “pushed down” to a business are not included as a component of operating results. We believe this presentation enhances the discussion and provides a more meaningful comparison of operating results. The following operating results of our businesses are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for a full year, going forward.

Advanced Circuits

Overview

Advanced Circuits is a provider of prototype, quick-turn and volume production PCBs to customers throughout the United States. Collectively, prototype and quick-turn PCBs represent approximately 63.0% of Advanced Circuits’ gross revenues. Prototype and quick-turn PCBs typically command higher margins than volume production PCBs given that customers require high levels of responsiveness, technical support and timely delivery of prototype and quick-turn PCBs and are willing to pay a premium for them. Advanced Circuits is able to meet its customers’ demands by manufacturing custom PCBs in as little as 24 hours, while maintaining over 98.0% error-free production rates and real-time customer service and product tracking 24 hours per day.

While global demand for PCBs has remained strong in recent years, industry wide domestic production has declined since2000. In contrast, Advanced Circuits’ revenues increased steadily through 2008 (2009 saw a slight reduction) and increased again in 2010 and 2011, as its customers’ prototype and quick-turn PCB requirements, such as small quantity orders and rapid turnaround, are less able to be met by low cost volume manufacturers in Asia and elsewhere. Advanced Circuits’ management anticipates that demand for its prototype and quick-turn printed circuit boards will remain strong and anticipates that demand will be impacted less by current economic conditions than by its longer lead time production business, which is driven more by consumer purchasing patterns and capital investments by businesses.

We purchased a controlling interest in Advanced Circuits on May 16, 2006.

On March 11, 2010, Advanced Circuits acquired Circuit Express based in Tempe, Arizona for approximately $16.1 million. Circuit Express focuses on quick-turn manufacturing of prototype and low-volume quantities of rigid PCBs, primarily for aerospace and defense related customers.

 

87


Table of Contents

Results of Operations

The table below summarizes the statement of operations for Advanced Circuits for the fiscal years ending December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009.

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2011      2010      2009  
     (in thousands)  

Net sales

   $ 78,506       $ 74,481       $ 46,518   

Cost of sales

     35,564         33,396         19,958   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Gross profit

     42,942         41,085         26,560   

Selling, general and administrative expenses

     12,855         17,333         7,367   

Management fees

     500         500         375   

Amortization of intangibles

     3,026         2,864         2,521   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Income from operations

   $ 26,561       $ 20,388       $ 16,297   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2011 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2010

Net sales

Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 were approximately $78.5 million compared to approximately $74.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, an increase of $4.0 million or 5.4%. The increase in gross sales is principally due to increased sales in quick-turn ($2.1 million) and prototype ($1.4 million) production PCBs, offset in part by a decrease in revenues from long-lead ($0.2 million) and sub-contract ($0.5 million) production PCBs. Quick-turn production PCBs represented approximately 33.6% of gross sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to approximately 32.6% for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010. Prototype production represented approximately 29.3% of gross sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to approximately 28.9% for the same period in 2010. Assembly sales which increased approximately $1.1 million, represented approximately 7.6% of gross sales in 2011 compared to approximately 6.6% in 2010.

The increase in gross sales in both the quick turn and prototype production in 2011 when compared to 2010 is partially the result of sales attributable to ACI-Tempe operations (Circuit Express) for a full twelve month period in the year ended December 31, 2011. The decrease in sales attributable to sub-contract and assembly production is principally attributable to the company’s broader service offerings following its acquisition of Circuit Express and reduced need to sub-contract.

Cost of sales

Cost of sales for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011 was approximately $35.6 million compared to approximately $33.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, an increase of approximately $2.2 million or 6.5%. The increase in cost of sales was largely due to the increase in net sales. Gross profit as a percentage of net sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 was 54.7% compared to 55.2% in 2010. The decrease in gross profit as a percentage of sales in 2011 is principally the result of a larger portion of revenue being driven from the company’s Tempe operations which carry a lower gross margin.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative expense decreased approximately $4.5 million during the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 due principally to non-cash stock compensation issued to management in January 2010 totaling approximately $3.8 million and $0.3 million in direct acquisition costs incurred in acquiring ACI-Tempe in 2010. Ignoring these one-time 2010 charges, selling, general and administrative expense decreased approximately $0.4 million during the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. Advertising and marketing costs increased $0.2 million, costs associated with exploring new business acquisitions increased and employee benefits increased $0.1 million. These increases were more than offset by lower overhead costs at the Tempe location as the consolidated production in two locations from three in the latter half of 2011.

Income from operations

Income from operations for the year ended December 31, 2011 was $26.6 million compared to $20.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, an increase of $6.2 million. This increase primarily was the result of increased net sales and other factors described above.

 

88


Table of Contents

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2010 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2009

Net sales

Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 were approximately $74.5 million compared to approximately $46.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, an increase of $28.0 million or 60.1%. The increase in net sales is principally due to increased sales in quick-turn ($7.0 million), prototype ($7.0 million) and long-lead ($10.4 million) production PCBs. In addition, sub-contract and assembly sales increased approximately $3.1 million. Quick-turn production PCBs represented approximately 32.6% of gross sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to approximately 36.3% for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009. Prototype production represented approximately 28.9% of gross sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to approximately 30.6% for the same period in 2009. Assembly sales represented approximately 6.6% of gross sales in 2010 compared to approximately 4.8% in 2009.

The increase in net sales in both the quick turn and prototype categories in 2010 when compared to 2009 is largely the result of sales attributable to Circuit Express. The increase in net sales in long-lead production is attributable to the overall turnaround in the economy.

Cost of sales

Cost of sales for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010 was approximately $33.4 million compared to approximately $20.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, an increase of approximately $13.4 million or 67.3%. The increase in cost of sales was largely due to the increase in net sales. Gross profit as a percentage of net sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 was 55.2% compared to 57.1% in 2009. The decrease in gross profit as a percentage of sales in 2010 is the result of lower margins earned on the Circuit Express product during the year and increases in lower margin assembly and long-lead time sales as a percentage of sales.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative expenses increased approximately $10.0 million during the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to the corresponding period in 2009. Approximately $3.3 million of the increase is attributable to costs incurred at the Circuit Express operations. In addition to costs incurred directly at Circuit Express, salaries and wages increased $2.7 million and commissions increased $0.3 million in 2010 as compared to 2009. These increases are largely the result of supporting the operations associated with the significant increase in net sales in 2010 compared to 2009. Lastly, non-cash stock compensation costs resulting from options issued to senior management totaling approximately $3.8 million were incurred and are included in general and administrative costs in 2010. No such costs were incurred in 2009.

Income from operations

Income from operations for the year ended December 31, 2010 was $20.4 million compared to $16.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, an increase of $4.1 million. This increase primarily was the result of increased net sales and other factors described above.

American Furniture

Overview

Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Ecru, Mississippi, American Furniture is a leading U.S. manufacturer of upholstered furniture, focused exclusively on the promotional segment of the furniture industry. American Furniture offers a broad product line of stationary and motion furniture, including sofas, loveseats, sectionals, recliners and complementary products, sold primarily at retail price points ranging between $199 and $1,399. American Furniture is a low-cost manufacturer and is able to ship any product in its line to over 800 customers within 48 hours of receiving an order.

American Furniture’s products are adapted from established designs in the following categories: (i) motion and recliner; (ii) stationary; (iii) occasional chair and; (iv) accent tables and rugs.

American Furniture incurred an impairment charge to its goodwill ($5.9 million), trade name ($2.4 million) and long-lived assets ($18.4 million) aggregating $26.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2011, which was triggered based on results of operations which had deteriorated significantly during the year. In addition, in connection with the cessation and outsourcing of AFM’s internal trucking operations we reclassified a number of trucks, trailers and a warehouse from property, plant and equipment to assets held for sale. In connection with this, we wrote these assets down from their net book value to an amount equal to their net realizable value less disposal costs with the difference, aggregating approximately $1.1 million, being charged to impairment expense. During the year ended 2010, we wrote down the value of goodwill by

 

89


Table of Contents

$35.5 million and the value of its trade name by $3.3 million. In all cases the write downs were triggered by a significant deterioration in American Furniture’s operations and profitability caused by an unprecedented drop in the promotional furniture market and demand for its product. The combination of increased unemployment, together with significant decreases in home purchases and availability of consumer credit has created the worst market for promotional furniture sales over the last two years than has been experienced over the last two decades. The remaining noncurrent assets subject to fair value testing at American Furniture are its trade name, totaling approximately $0.6 million and property and equipment of $0.5 million. We do not anticipate any further write downs to American Furniture’s assets going forward.

American Furniture implemented a revised standard costing system in the year 2011 which required American Furniture to reclassify certain costs between cost of sales and selling, general and administrative expenses. The change in format consists of reclassifying the trucking fleet expenses from selling, general and administrative expenses into cost of sales as well as re-classifying certain manufacturing related expenses including rent, insurance, utilities and workers compensation from selling, general and administrative costs to cost of sales. Management believes that the format of reporting cost of sales going forward together with the revised standard costing system and the revaluation of standard costs will allow management to timely react to changes in supply costs, product demand and overall price structure going forward which in turn should eliminate the accumulation of lower margin product, allow for more advantageous product procurement and allow for proper utilization of available assets. The results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009 include the necessary reclassifications of costs between selling general and administrative expenses and cost of sales in order to make them consistent with the 2011 presentation.

We believe that with the impairment charges behind us, the elimination of the trucking division and the activation and optics supplied by the new standard cost system and associated reporting, American Furniture is in a better position than it has been in the last two years, is poised to take back a portion of the product margin it has lost over the past two years and is better situated to absorb available market share, where it makes economic sense in a troubled market, with the backing of CODI as their creditor and majority owner.

Results of Operations

The table below summarizes the results of operations for American Furniture for the fiscal years ending December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009. We purchased a controlling interest in American Furniture on August 31, 2007.

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2011     2010     2009  
     (in thousands)  

Net sales

   $ 105,345      $ 136,901      $ 141,971   

Cost of sales

     101,030        121,558        121,489   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

     4,315        15,343        20,482   

Selling, general and administrative expenses

     9,549        10,913        10,937   

Management fees

     125        500        375   

Amortization of intangibles

     2,108        2,183        2,683   

Impairment expense

     27,769        38,835        —     
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) from operations

   $ (35,236   $ (37,088   $ 6,487   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2011 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2010

Net sales

Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 decreased approximately $31.6 million or 23.1% over the corresponding period in 2010. Stationary product net sales decreased $19.0 million for the period while motion and recliner sales decreased $11.0 million. Occasional chairs, accent tables and rug sales decreased $1.2 million in 2011 compared to 2010. The decrease in product sales is the result of the softer furniture retail environment, especially in the more expensive product categories, such as our motion products, and the increasing presence of Asian import product which often offers a better overall value proposition to customers. The decrease in net sales of recliners, chairs, tables and rugs in 2011 is due to an overall weaker retail market for promotional furniture offerings in 2011 than in 2010. The promotional retail furniture market continues to be impacted by downward pressure from lower consumer spending on new furniture due principally to the limited access to credit available to new home buyers. Retail furniture sales rely heavily on consumer spending for new furniture when they move into a new home. In addition, the weak domestic overall economic environment coupled with high unemployment has had a significant negative effect on the promotional furniture market due to the impact it has had on the consumer who purchases our product. Sales to Value City, American Furniture’s largest customer, decreased approximately $20 million in fiscal 2011 compared to 2010 as Value City restructured their core retail product offerings and began sourcing product from a small lower cost manufacturer.

 

90


Table of Contents

Cost of sales

Cost of sales decreased by approximately $20.5 million in the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the same period of 2010 due principally to a corresponding decrease in sales. Gross profit as a percentage of sales was 4.1% in the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to 11.2% in the corresponding period in 2010. The decrease in gross profit as a percentage of sales of approximately 710 basis points in 2011 is attributable to: (i) a $1.6 million charge to write-down inventory, reflecting excess overhead absorption based on a revaluation in connection with revising standard costs, (ii) a $1.7 million charge related to inventory obsolescence for slow moving inventory, (iii) reduced selling prices on products in the second half of the year due to cost pressures from our customers and aggressive competitor pricing and (iv) unfavorable overhead absorption rates compared to 2010 due to the significant decrease in sales and manufacturing volume. A number of cost saving initiatives have recently been put in place, including facility consolidation and the outsourcing of internal trucking operations and frame cutting.

Selling, general and administrative expense

Selling, general and administrative expense for the year ended December 31, 2011, decreased approximately $1.4 million compared to the same period of 2010. This decrease is primarily due to decreases in insurance expense ($0.2 million), bad debt expense ($0.8 million), commission expense ($0.4 million) and other administrative costs ($0.4 million) as a result of decreases in net sales. These decreases were offset in part by increases in professional fees ($0.8 million) due primarily to consulting fees associated with the implementation of a revised standard cost system and operational directives.

Impairment expense

American Furniture incurred an impairment charge to its goodwill ($5.9 million), trade name ($2.4 million) and long-lived assets ($18.4 million) aggregating $26.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2011, which was triggered based on results of operations which had deteriorated significantly during the year. In addition, in connection with the cessation and outsourcing of AFM’s internal trucking operations, we reclassified a number of trucks, trailers and a warehouse from property, plant and equipment to assets held for sale. In connection with this, we wrote these assets down from their net book value to an amount equal to their net realizable value less disposal costs with the difference, aggregating approximately $1.1 million, being charged to impairment expense. We incurred an impairment charge at American Furniture in 2010 totaling $38.8 million, reflecting a goodwill charge totaling $35.5 million and a trade name charge totaling $3.3 million.

Income (loss) from operations

Loss from operations totaled approximately $35.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to a loss from operations of approximately $37.1 million for the same period in 2010 due to the factors described above.

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2010 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2009

Net sales

Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 decreased approximately $5.1 million or 3.6% over the corresponding period in 2009. Stationary product net sales were flat for the period while motion and recliner sales decreased $4.6 million. Occasional chairs, accent tables and rug sales decreased $0.4 million in 2010 compared to 2009. The decrease in motion product sales ($4.0 million) is the result of the softer retail environment in the more expensive product categories such as our motion products and the increasing presence of Asian import product which often offers a better overall value proposition to customers. The more modest decrease in net sales of recliners, chairs, tables and rugs in 2010 are due to an overall weaker retail market for furniture in 2010 than in 2009.

Cost of sales

Cost of sales increased by approximately $0.1 million in the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to the same period of 2009. Gross profit as a percentage of sales was 11.2% in the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to 14.4% in the corresponding period in 2009. The decrease in gross profit as a percentage of sales of approximately 320 basis points in 2010 is attributable to business interruption insurance proceeds recorded in 2009 which accounts for about a third of the year over year increase. Excluding the insurance proceeds in 2009 gross profit decreased approximately 200 basis points in 2010. The remainder of this decrease in gross profit as a percentage of revenue is the result of increased raw material cost of 160 basis points with the remainder of the increase principally resulting from increases in ocean cargo shipping rates incurred in 2010 especially in conjunction with the increased number of cut and sewn kits being imported from China.

Selling, general and administrative expense

Selling, general and administrative expense for the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009 were approximately $10.9 million. American Furniture experienced decreases in insurance expense ($0.4 million), commission expense ($0.3 million)

 

91


Table of Contents

and other administrative costs ($0.2 million) in the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, as a result of decreases in net sales. These fiscal 2010 decreases were offset in part by increases in bad debt expense ($0.5 million) and advertising expense ($0.4 million). The increase in bad debt expense is due to write offs of two retailer’s balances.

Amortization of intangibles

Intangible amortization decreased approximately $0.5 million in the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to the same period in 2009 due to the expiration of non-compete agreements that were being amortized in 2009.

Impairment expense

American Furniture incurred an impairment charge to its goodwill and unamortized trade name during the year ended December 31, 2010 aggregating $38.8 million. We conducted an interim test for impairment at American Furniture which was triggered based on results of operations which had deteriorated significantly during the second and third quarter of 2010. The portion of the impairment charge that was attributable to impaired goodwill at American Furniture was $35.5 million. The remaining $3.3 million reflected a write off of a portion of the unamortized American Furniture trade name. There were no impairment charges for American Furniture in 2009.

Income (loss) from operations

Loss from operations totaled approximately $37.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to income from operations of approximately $6.5 million for the same period in 2009 due to the factors described above, including the non-cash impairment charge of $38.8 million in 2010.

CamelBak

Overview

CamelBak, headquartered in Petaluma, California, is a premier designer and manufacturer of personal hydration products for outdoor, recreation and military applications. CamelBak offers a broad range of recreational and military personal hydration packs, reusable water bottles, specialty military gloves and performance accessories.

As the leading supplier of hydration products to specialty outdoor, cycling and military retailers, CamelBak maintains the leading market share position in recreational markets for hands-free hydration packs and the leading market share position for reusable water bottles in specialty channels. CamelBak is also the dominant supplier of hydration packs to the military, with a leading market share in post-issue hydration packs. Over its more than 20-year history, CamelBak has developed a reputation as the preferred supplier for the hydration needs of the most demanding athletes and warfighters. Across its markets, CamelBak is respected for its innovation, leadership and authenticity.

On August 24, 2011, we made loans to, and purchased a controlling interest in, CamelBak for approximately $258.6 million, representing approximately 90% of the equity in CamelBak.

 

92


Table of Contents

Pro Forma Results of Operations

The table below summarizes the pro-forma results of operations for CamelBak for the full fiscal years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010. We acquired CamelBak on August 24, 2011. The following operating results are reported as if we acquired CamelBak on January 1, 2010.

 

     Year ended December 31,  
(in thousands)    2011
(Pro-forma)
     2010
(Pro-forma)
 

Net sales

   $ 141,286       $ 122,214   

Cost of sales (a)

     82,999         70,617   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Gross profit

     58,287         51,597   

Selling, general and administrative expenses (b)

     30,475         28,144   

Management fees (c)

     500         500   

Amortization of intangibles (d)

     9,313         9,512   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Income from operations

   $ 17,999       $ 13,441   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Pro-forma results of operations of CamelBak for the annual periods ended December 31, 2011 and 2010 include the following pro-forma adjustments applied to historical results:

 

(a) Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 does not include $6.1 million of amortization expense associated with the inventory fair value step-up recorded in 2011 as a result of and derived from the purchase price allocation in connection with our purchase of CamelBak.
(b) Selling, general and administrative costs were reduced by approximately $7.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2011, representing an adjustment for one-time transaction costs incurred as a result of our purchase.
(c) Represents management fees that would have been payable to the Manager.
(d) An increase in amortization of intangible assets totaling $5.6 million in 2011 and $7.4 million in 2010. This adjustment is a result of and was derived from the purchase price allocation in connection with our acquisition of CamelBak.

Pro Forma Year Ended December 31, 2011 Compared to the Pro Forma Year Ended December 31, 2010.

Net sales

Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 were approximately $141.3 million, an increase of $19.1 million, or 15.6%, compared to the same period in 2010. The increase in net sales during 2011 is the result of increased sales (on a gross basis) in Hydration Packs ($10.0 million), Bottles ($13.0 million), and Accessories ($2.2 million). These increased sales were offset in part by a decrease in Glove sales aggregating $6.0 million during the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. The increased sales of Hydration Packs, Bottles and Accessories is attributable to the successful launch of CamelBak’s new reservoir “Antidote” in 2011 (CamelBak’s new reservoir included in its 2011 recreational Hydration Pack line), the expansion of offerings in Bottles and the continued expansion in its customer base, including new and existing customers. The decrease in Glove sales during the current year is attributable to less direct contract sales to the U.S. military resulting, in part, from a drawdown of U.S. combat troops overseas. Sales of Hydration Packs and Bottles represented approximately 75% of gross sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to approximately 68% for the same period in 2010. Military sales represented approximately 41% of gross sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to 42% for the same period in 2010.

Cost of sales

Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 were approximately $83.0 million compared to approximately $70.6 million in the same period of 2010. The increase of $12.4 million is due principally to the corresponding increase in sales. Gross profit as a percentage of net sales decreased from 42.2% for the year ended December 31, 2010 to 41.3% for the same period ended December 31, 2011. The decrease is attributable to: (i) increases in duty charges in 2011 as a result of a one-time benefit, due to a customs ruling on CamelBak’s behalf, received in 2010; (ii) price increases from suppliers in 2011 for raw materials, particularly resins and fabric, not reflected in customer pricing, and (iii) expedited freight costs due to a supplier capacity constraint in 2011 not reflected in customer pricing. CamelBak management has taken steps to rectify these capacity issues, which should mitigate these charges in the future.

 

93


Table of Contents

Selling, general and administrative expense

Selling, general and administrative expense for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased to approximately $30.5 million or 21.6% of net sales compared to $28.1 million or 23.0% of net sales for the same period of 2010. The $2.3 million increase in selling, general and administrative expenses incurred during the year ended December 31, 2011, compared to the same period in 2010 is attributable to: (i) increases in advertising and marketing costs ($0.5 million); (ii) increased research and development costs ($0.4 million), and (iii) increased bad debt expense ($0.4 million), with the balance of the increase due to increased infrastructure costs such as personnel costs and benefits, and general overhead necessary to support expansion initiatives in connection with current and anticipated increased sales volume.

Income from operations

Income from operations for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased approximately $4.6 million to $18.0 million compared to the same period in 2010, which reflected income from operations totaling $13.4 million, based principally on the factors described above.

ERGObaby

Overview

ERGObaby, with headquarters in Los Angeles, California, is a premier designer, marketer and distributor of baby wearing products and accessories. ERGObaby offers a broad range of wearable baby carriers and related products that are sold through more than 900 retailers and web shops in the United States and internationally in approximately 50 countries. ERGObaby has two main product lines: baby carriers and accessories.

On September 16, 2010, we made loans to and purchased a controlling interest in ERGObaby for approximately $85.2 million, representing approximately 84% of the equity in ERGObaby. ERGObaby’s reputation for product innovation, reliability and safety has led to numerous awards and accolades from consumer surveys and publications, including Parenting Magazine, Pregnancy magazine and Wired magazine.

On November 18, 2011, ERGObaby acquired Orbit Baby. Orbit Baby produces and markets a premium line of stroller travel systems. Orbit Baby’s high-quality products include car seats, strollers and bassinets that are interchangeable using a patented hub ring. The results of operations for ERGObaby for the year ended December 31, 2011 include Orbit Baby’s operating results from the date of its acquisition only with aggregate net sales totaling approximately $0.8 million and loss from operations totaling approximately $0.1 million.

 

94


Table of Contents

Pro Forma Results of Operations

The table below summarizes the pro-forma results of operations for ERGObaby for the full fiscal years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009. We acquired ERGObaby on September 16, 2010. The following operating results are reported as if we acquired ERGObaby on January 1, 2009.

 

     Year ended December 31,  
(in thousands)    2011
(Pro-forma)
     2010
(Pro-forma)
     2009
(Pro-forma)
 

Net sales

   $ 44,327       $ 34,472       $ 22,767   

Cost of sales (a)

     15,645         10,833         6,055   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Gross profit

     28,682         23,639         16,712   

Selling, general and administrative expenses (b)

     17,998         11,985         7,976   

Management fees (c)

     500         500         500   

Amortization of intangibles (d)

     1,828         1,715         1,716   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Income from operations

   $ 8,356       $ 9,439       $ 6,520   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Pro-forma results of operations of ERGObaby for the annual periods ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009 include the following pro-forma adjustments applied to historical results:

 

(a) Cost of sales for the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010 do not include $0.5 million and $3.8 million, respectively, of amortization expense recorded in each of those years associated with the inventory fair value step-ups as a result of and derived from the purchase price allocation in connection with our purchase of ERGObaby.
(b) Selling, general and administrative costs were reduced by approximately $10.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2010, representing an adjustment for one-time transaction costs incurred as a result of our purchase.
(c) Represents the full amount of management fees that would have been payable to the Manager in 2010 and 2009.
(d) An increase in amortization of intangible assets totaling $1.2 million in 2010 and $1.7 million in 2009 as a result of and was derived from the purchase price allocation in connection with our acquisition of ERGObaby.

Pro forma Year Ended December 31, 2011 Compared to the Pro forma Year Ended December 31, 2010.

Net sales

Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 were $44.3 million, an increase of $9.9 million or 28.6% compared to the same period in 2010. Domestic sales were approximately $16.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to approximately $15.4 million in the same period for 2010 as the number of domestic retail outlets for the company’s products increased from 863 in 2010 to over 900 in 2011 and the net sales attributable to Orbit Baby ($0.8 million) from its date of acquisition were included. International sales increased to $28.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to $19.0 million in the same period in 2010. The increase of $9.2 million was primarily attributable to increased sales to distributors in Asia and the addition of twelve new international distributors in 2011 expanding ERGObaby’s presence into more than 32 additional countries. Baby carriers represented 87% of total net sales in 2011 and 2010 (excluding Orbit Baby). The remaining net sales in each of the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010 reflects accessory sales.

Cost of sales

Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased to $15.6 million from $10.8 million in the same period in 2010. The increase is due to the increase in sales in the same period. Gross profit as a percentage of sales decreased from 68.6% for the year ended 2010 to 64.7% for 2011. The decrease is attributable to a change in the product sales mix, and a shift in customer mix which produced less favorable gross margins. Throughout 2011 there was an increase in the sales of organic and sport baby carriers versus standard baby carriers. The dollar margins are similar but the non-standard baby carriers have a higher cost and thus an overall 8% lower gross profit percentage than standard baby carriers. In addition, much of the sales growth in 2011 was in sales to international distributors which have a lower selling price point than wholesale and online customers, further reducing the 2011 gross profit percentage. Lastly, ERGObaby experienced an increase in production costs from its factories of approximately 9% on their standard carriers and infant insert line from its factory suppliers during 2011. Management has expanded the supply chain to moderate such cost impact in the future.

 

95


Table of Contents

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative expense for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased $6.0 million to approximately $18.0 million or 40.6% of sales versus $12.0 million or 34.8% of sales for 2010. Fiscal 2011 marked the first full year of results reflecting the investment made in brand development and the overhead infrastructure necessary for ERGObaby to grow. Specifically, substantial increases in costs during the year ended December 31, 2011 were associated with marketing initiatives concentrated in market research and in media and internet advertising programs ($1.7 million), and increased professional fees ($1.6 million) from consulting fees related to the ERP implementation, increased legal expenses and costs incurred in recruiting the senior management team. Lastly, there was a significant increase in personnel expenses for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 ($2.9 million) associated with hiring 10 new management team members and related stock option expense, bonuses and benefits. Selling, general and administrative costs directly attributable to Orbit Baby totaled approximately $0.5 million in 2011.

Amortization of intangibles

Amortization expense increased approximately $0.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to 2010 due to intangible amortization charges recognized in connection with the purchase of Orbit Baby in November 2011.

Income from operations

Income from operations for the year ended December 31, 2011 decreased approximately $1.1 million to $8.4 million compared to the corresponding period in 2010 based principally on a decrease in gross profit margins, increased selling, general and administrative costs and other factors described above.

Pro Forma Year Ended December 31, 2010 Compared to the Pro Forma Year Ended December 31, 2009.

Net sales

Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 were $34.5 million, an increase of $11.7 million or 51.4% compared to the same period in 2009. Domestic sales were approximately $15.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to approximately $11.0 million in the same period for 2009 as the number of domestic retail outlets for the company’s products increased from 648 in 2009 to 863 in 2010. International sales increased to $19.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to $11.8 million in the same period in 2009. The increase of $7.2 million was primarily attributable to increased sales to distributors in Asia. Baby carriers represented 87% of sales in 2010 compared to 89% in 2009. The remaining net sales in each of the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009 reflects accessory sales.

Cost of sales

Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 increased to $10.8 million from $6.1 million in the same period in 2009. The increase is due to the increase in sales in the same period. Gross profit as a percentage of sales decreased from 73.4% for the year ended 2009 to 68.6% for 2010. The decrease is attributable to a change in the product sales mix and an unfavorable customer mix. Throughout 2010 there was an increase in the sales of organic baby carriers versus baby carriers. The dollar margins are similar but the organic baby carriers have a higher cost and thus an over 10% lower gross profit percentage than other baby carriers. In addition, much of the sales growth in 2010 was in sales to international distributors which have a lower selling price point than wholesale and online customers, further reducing the gross profit percentage.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative expense for the year ended December 31, 2010 increased to approximately $12.0 million or 34.8% of sales versus $8.0 million or 35.0% of sales for 2009. The increase is due principally to increases in marketing, salary expense and sales commissions in 2010, commensurate with the increase in net sales.

Income from operations

Income from operations for the year ended December 31, 2010 increased approximately $2.9 million to $9.4 million compared to the corresponding period in 2009 based principally on the significant increase in net sales and other factors described above.

 

96


Table of Contents

Fox

Overview

Fox, headquartered in Scotts Valley, California, is a branded action sports company that designs, manufactures and markets high-performance suspension products for mountain bikes and powered vehicles, which include: snowmobiles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles ATVs, and other off-road vehicles.

Fox’s products are recognized by manufacturers and consumers as being among the most technically advanced suspension products currently available in the marketplace. Fox’s technical success is demonstrated by its dominance of award winning performances by professional athletes across its suspension products. As a result, Fox’s suspension components are incorporated by OEM customers on their high-performance models at the top of their product lines in the mountain bike and power sports sector. OEMs capitalize on the strength of Fox’s brand to maintain and expand their own sales and margins. In the Aftermarket segment, customers seeking higher performance select Fox’s suspension components to enhance their existing equipment.

Fox sells to approximately 160 OEM and approximately 7,000 Aftermarket customers across its market segments. In each of the years 2011, 2010 and 2009, approximately 80%, 78% and 76% of net sales were to OEM customers. The remaining net sales were to Aftermarket customers. Sales of suspension components to the bicycle sector represent a significant majority of both OEM and Aftermarket sales in each of the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009.

Results of Operations

The table below summarizes the results of operations of Fox for the fiscal years ending December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009. We purchased a controlling interest in Fox on January 4, 2008.

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2011      2010      2009  
     (in thousands)  

Net sales

   $ 197,740       $ 170,983       $ 121,519   

Cost of sales

     140,850         122,373         87,038   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Gross profit

     56,890         48,610         34,481   

Selling, general and administrative expenses

     28,587         23,317         18,231   

Management fees

     500         500         375   

Amortization of intangibles

     5,217         5,217         5,217   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Income from operations

   $ 22,586       $ 19,576       $ 10,658   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2011 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2010

Net sales

Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased approximately $26.8 million, or 15.6%, versus the corresponding period in 2010. OEM sales increased $23.7 million to $157.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to $134.2 million for the same period in 2010. The increase in OEM net sales is attributable to increases in sales in the mountain biking sector totaling $5.9 million and increases in sales in the powered vehicles sector totaling approximately $17.8 million. The increase in OEM sales in the mountain biking sector during the year ended December 31, 2011 is due to strong sales of the new model year product and the impact of inventory replenishment at the OEMs during the first quarter of 2011 that did not occur during 2010. The significant increase in OEM sales in the powered vehicle sector during 2011 is principally the result of an increase in sales of suspension components to the ATV and off-road markets. Aftermarket sales increased approximately $3.1 million to $39.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to $36.8 million in the same period in 2010. This increase is attributable to increases in net sales in the mountain biking sector ($2.1 million) and the powered vehicle sector ($1.0 million).

International OEM and Aftermarket sales were $129.9 million in 2011 compared to $113.6 million in 2010, an increase of $16.3 million or 14.3%.

 

97


Table of Contents

Cost of sales

Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased approximately $18.5 million, or 15.1%, compared to the corresponding period in 2010. The increase in cost of sales is attributable to the increase in net sales for the same period. Gross profit as a percentage of sales is approximately 28.8% for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to 28.4% for the same period in 2010. The 0.4% increase in gross profit as a percentage of sales during the year ended 2011 is attributable to efficiencies achieved in connection with the increased production volume during 2011. This was offset in part by an unfavorable product and customer mix compared to 2010, increased raw material commodity costs and unfavorable foreign exchange rates.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative expenses for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased approximately $5.3 million over the corresponding period in 2010. This increase in fiscal 2011 is the result of increases in; (i) sales and marketing costs ($1.3 million), (ii) engineering costs ($1.7 million), and (iii) other administrative costs, largely personnel related ($1.8 million), compared to 2010, principally to support the significant growth in the powered sports and mountain biking sector and associated increase in sales. Selling, general and administrative costs were 14.5% of net sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to 13.6% of net sales in 2010.

Income from operations

Income from operations for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased approximately $3.0 million to $22.6 million compared to the corresponding period in 2010, based principally on the significant increase in net sales, offset in part by the increases in selling, general and administrative costs, as described above.

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2010 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2009

Net sales

Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 increased approximately $49.5 million, or 40.7%, versus the corresponding period in 2009. OEM sales increased $41.7 million to $134.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to $92.5 million for the same period in 2009. The increase in OEM net sales is attributable to increases in sales in the mountain biking sector totaling $28.8 million and increases in sales in the powered vehicles sector totaling approximately $12.9 million. The increase in sales in the mountain biking sector during the year ended December 31, 2010 is due to the rebound from the impact of the global economic recession experienced in 2009 which had created excess capacity in the industry. The increase in sales to the powered vehicle sector during 2010 is the result of an increase in sales of suspension components to the ATV and off-road markets. Aftermarket sales increased approximately $7.8 million to $36.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to $29.0 million in the same period in 2009. This increase is largely attributable to increases in net sales in the powered vehicles sector ($5.0 million).

International OEM and Aftermarket sales were $113.6 million in 2010 compared to $84.0 million in 2009, an increase of $29.6 million or 35.2%.

Cost of sales

Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 increased approximately $35.3 million, or 40.6%, compared to the corresponding period in 2009. The increase in cost of sales is attributable to the increase in net sales for the same period. Gross profit as a percentage of sales is approximately 28.4% in each of the years 2010 and 2009.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative expenses for the year ended December 31, 2010 increased approximately $5.1 million over the corresponding period in 2009. This increase is the result of increases in (i) marketing costs ($0.7 million), (ii) engineering costs ($1.3 million), and (iii) other administrative costs ($2.4 million), compared to 2009, principally to support the significant increase in sales.

Income from operations

Income from operations for the year ended December 31, 2010 increased approximately $8.9 million to $19.6 million compared to the corresponding period in 2009, based principally on the significant increase in net sales, offset in part by the increases in selling, general and administrative costs, as described above.

 

98


Table of Contents

HALO

Overview

Operating under the brand names of HALO and Lee Wayne, headquartered in Sterling, IL, HALO is an independent provider of customized drop-ship promotional products in the U.S. Through an extensive group of dedicated sales professionals, HALO serves as a one-stop shop for over 40,000 customers throughout the U.S. HALO is involved in the design, sourcing, management and fulfillment of promotional products across several product categories, including apparel, calendars, writing instruments, drink ware and office accessories. HALO’s sales professionals work with customers and vendors to develop the most effective means of communicating a logo or marketing message to a target audience. Approximately 90% of products sold are drop shipped, resulting in minimal inventory risk. HALO has established itself as a leader in the promotional products and marketing industry through its focus on service through its approximately 900 account executives.

HALO acquired the promotional products distributor Logos Your Way in October 2011.

HALO acquired Goldman Promotions, a promotional products distributor, in April 2008, the promotional products distributor division of Eskco, Inc., in November 2008, the promotional products distributor AdNov in March 2009 and Relay Gear in February 2010.

Distribution of promotional products is seasonal. Typically, HALO expects to realize approximately 45% of its sales and substantially all of its operating income in the months of September through December, due principally to calendar sales and corporate holiday promotions.

Results of Operations

The table below summarizes the results of operations for HALO for the fiscal years ending December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009. We purchased a controlling interest in HALO on February 28, 2007.

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2011      2010      2009  
     (in thousands)  

Net sales

   $ 170,894       $ 159,940       $ 139,317   

Cost of sales

     103,095         97,264         84,883   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Gross profit

     67,799         62,676         54,434   

Selling, general and administrative expenses

     55,830         54,887         48,714   

Management fees

     500         500         375   

Amortization of intangibles

     2,435         2,419         2,498   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Income from operations

   $ 9,034       $ 4,870       $ 2,847   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2011 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2010

Net sales

Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 were $170.9 million, compared to $159.9 million for the same period in 2010, an increase of $11.0 million or 6.8%. Sales increases attributable to accounts acquired in 2011 accounted for approximately $2.7 million of the increased sales in 2011. Sales to existing customer accounts increased $8.3 million during the year ended 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. The increase in net sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 is primarily attributable to increased sales to existing customers as a result of improving macro-economic conditions in 2011 and, to a lesser extent, the development of several new significant customers and the replacement of account executives with new account executives that, on average, generated larger sales.

Cost of sales

Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased approximately $5.8 million compared to the same period in 2010. The increase in cost of sales is primarily attributable to the increase in net sales for the same period. Gross profit as a percentage of net sales totaled approximately 39.7% and 39.2% of net sales for the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively. The slight increase in gross profit as a percentage of sales in 2011 is due to a favorable sales mix in 2011 compared to 2010.

 

99


Table of Contents

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative expenses for the year ended December 31, 2011, increased approximately $0.9 million compared to the same period in 2010. Approximately $1.8 million of litigation settlement proceeds are reflected as a reduction to selling, general and administrative costs for the year ended December 31, 2011. Excluding the impact of the settlement proceeds, selling, general and administrative expenses increased approximately $2.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. This increase is largely the result of increases in direct sales commission expense and incentives in 2011 ($1.7 million) as a result of the increase in net sales over 2010, increases in administrative payroll ($1.3 million) to support the increased sales volume in 2011 offset in part by a decrease in group health insurance expense ($0.5 million).

Income from operations

Income from operations increased approximately $4.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 due principally to the increase in net sales to existing customers offset in part by higher selling, general and administrative costs, as described above.

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2010 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2009

Net sales

Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 were $159.9 million, compared to $139.3 million for the same period in 2009, an increase of $20.6 million or 14.8%. Sales increases attributable to accounts acquired in 2010 accounted for approximately $4.7 million of the increased sales in 2010. Sales to existing customer accounts increased $15.9 million during the year ended 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. The increase in sales to existing customers is attributable to increased promotional spending in 2010 compared to 2009 due to more favorable economic conditions in 2010.

Cost of sales

Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 increased approximately $12.4 million compared to the same period in 2009. The increase in cost of sales is primarily attributable to the increase in net sales for the same period. Gross profit as a percentage of net sales totaled approximately 39.2% and 39.1% of net sales for the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively. The slight increase in gross profit as a percentage of sales in 2010 is due to a favorable sales mix in 2010 compared to 2009.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative expenses for the year ended December 31, 2010, increased approximately $6.2 million compared to the same period in 2009. This increase is largely the result of increases in direct sales commission expense and incentives in 2010 ($4.3 million) as a result of the increase in net sales over 2009, increases in administrative payroll ($0.4 million) to support the increased sales volume in 2010 and increases in group health insurance expense ($0.6 million).

Amortization expense

Amortization expense for the year ended December 31, 2010 decreased approximately $0.1 million compared to the same period in 2009. This decrease is principally due to the amortization expense of intangible assets recognized in prior years which have become fully amortized.

Income from operations

Income from operations increased approximately $2.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to the same period in 2009 due principally to the increase in net sales to existing customers offset in part by higher selling, general and administrative costs, as described above.

Liberty Safe

Overview

Based in Payson, Utah and founded in 1988, Liberty Safe is the premier designer, manufacturer and marketer of home and gun safes in North America. From its over 204,000 square foot manufacturing facility, Liberty Safe produces a wide range of home and gun safe models in a broad assortment of sizes, features and styles ranging from an entry level product to good, better and best products. Products are marketed under the Liberty brand, as well as a portfolio of licensed and private label brands, including Remington, Cabela’s and John Deere. Liberty Safe’s products are the market share leader and are sold through an independent dealer network (“Dealer sales”) in addition to various sporting goods and home improvement retail outlets (“Non-Dealer sales”). Liberty has the largest independent dealer network in the industry.

 

100


Table of Contents

Historically, approximately 60% of Liberty Safe’s net sales are Non-Dealer sales and 40% are Dealer sales.

Pro Forma Results of Operations

The table below summarizes the pro-forma results of operations for Liberty Safe for the full fiscal years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009. We acquired Liberty Safe on March 31, 2010. The following operating results are reported as if we acquired Liberty Safe on January 1, 2009.

 

     Year ended December 31,  
(in thousands)    2011      2010
(Pro-forma)
     2009
(Pro-forma)
 

Net sales

   $ 82,222       $ 64,899       $ 73,839   

Cost of sales (a)

     61,563         48,404         54,081   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Gross profit

     20,659         16,495         19,758   

Selling, general and administrative expenses (b)

     10,646         8,092         8,211   

Management fees (c)

     500         500         500   

Amortization of intangibles (d)

     5,177         5,177         5,160   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Income from operations

   $ 4,336       $ 2,726       $ 5,887   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Pro-forma results of operations of Liberty Safe for the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009 include the following pro-forma adjustments applied to historical results:

 

(a) Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 does not include $0.4 million of amortization expense associated with the inventory fair value step-up recorded in 2010 as a result of and derived from the purchase price allocation in connection with our purchase of Liberty.
(b) Selling, general and administrative costs were reduced by approximately $1.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2010, representing an adjustment for one-time transaction costs incurred as a result of our purchase.
(c) Represents the full amount of management fees that would have been payable to the Manager in 2010 and 2009.
(d) An increase in amortization of intangible assets totaling $1.3 million and $2.9 million in 2010 and 2009, respectively. This adjustment is a result of and was derived from the purchase price allocation in connection with our acquisition of Liberty.

Year Ended December 31, 2011 Compared to the Pro Forma Year Ended December 31, 2010.

Net sales

Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased approximately $17.3 million or 26.7% compared to the corresponding year ended December 31, 2010. Non-Dealer sales were approximately $49.9 million in the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to $40.3 million in the same period in 2010, representing an increase of $9.6 million or 23.8%. Dealer sales totaled approximately $32.3 million in the twelve months ended December 31, 2011 compared to $24.6 million in the same period in 2010, representing an increase of $7.7 million or 31.3%. The significant increase in Non-Dealer sales in 2011 is the result of increased sales in the sporting goods channel ($7.4 million) and the farm and fleet channel ($4.0 million), offset in part by the loss of a club account to an import product line ($2.1 million) and a decline in the home improvement channel ($0.3 million). The sporting goods channel increases are the result of Liberty Safe being the sole supplier to two major accounts that offered robust sales promotions during the year ended 2011 resulting in higher retail sales. The farm and fleet channel increase is attributable to fulfilling a significant number of backorders and increased sell through at retail driven by a robust co-op advertising campaign. The increase in Dealer sales is due, in large part, to sales generated by its national advertising campaign in conjunction with those accounts that maintain consistent Liberty Safe product advertising at the local level. We expect Non-Dealer and Dealer sales to remain strong through 2012 as Liberty will continue its national advertising campaign.

Cost of sales

Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased approximately $13.2 million. The increase in cost of sales is primarily attributable to the increase in net sales for the same period. Gross profit as a percentage of net sales totaled approximately 25.1% and 25.4% of net sales for the years ended December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, respectively. The slight decrease in gross profit as a percentage of sales of 0.3% for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to 2010 is primarily attributable to higher commodity costs (steel) and higher transportation costs (fuel) which were substantially offset by a price increase by Liberty effective July 1, 2011.

 

101


Table of Contents

Selling, general and administrative expense

Selling, general and administrative expense for the year ended December 31, 2011, increased approximately $2.6 million compared to the same period in 2010. This increase is principally the result of increases in the following costs to support the significant increase in sales: (i) commission expense ($0.7 million), (ii) co-op advertising ($0.3 million) and the ongoing successful national radio ad campaign ($0.5 million) (iii) costs associated with increased headcount and rising benefit costs ($0.8 million) to support the increase in net sales and (iv) other miscellaneous cost increases ($0.3 million).

Income from operations

Income from operations increased $1.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the year ended December 31, 2010 based on the factors described above, particularly the increase in net sales.

Pro Forma Year Ended December 31, 2010 Compared to the Pro Forma Year Ended December 31, 2009

Net sales

Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 decreased approximately $8.9 million or 12.1% compared to the corresponding year ended December 31, 2009. National sales were approximately $40.3 million in the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to $45.9 million in the same period in 2009, representing a decrease of $5.6 million or 12.2%. Dealer sales totaled approximately $24.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to $27.9 million in the same period in 2009, representing a decrease of $3.3 million or 12.0%. The decrease in National sales in 2010 is principally the result of one customer who experienced low demand for their private label product safes, which represented a new product line supplied by Liberty Safe. Historically, this customer represented approximately 23% of Liberty Safe’s National sales. This customer has returned to selling Liberty branded safes and management believes that sales from this customer will increase in 2011. Other National sales are down from last year as the economy remained sluggish in 2010 for more substantial products such as safes. The decline in Dealer sales is due to less product demand in 2010 overall compared to 2009 due to greater than average sales in 2009 resulting from customer’s anticipation of stricter gun laws being enacted by the new Federal administration in 2009.

Cost of sales

Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2010 decreased approximately $5.7 million. The decrease in cost of sales is primarily attributable to the decrease in net sales for the same period. Gross profit as a percentage of net sales totaled approximately 25.4% and 26.8% of net sales for the years ended December 31, 2010 and December 31, 2009, respectively. The decrease in gross profit as a percentage of sales of 1.4% for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to 2009 is attributable to a less favorable sales mix and higher raw material costs in 2010 including rising freight costs. Sales of Liberty’s larger more expensive safes declined in 2010 compared to 2009 in favor of smaller safes as consumers continued to avoid larger ticket items. Liberty’s larger models generally carry higher margins than smaller, entry level models.

Selling, general and administrative expense

Selling, general and administrative expense for the year ended December 31, 2010, decreased approximately $0.1 million compared to the same period in 2009. This decrease is largely the result of lower compensation expense driven by lower commissions and bonuses, together with lower co-op advertising costs as a result of the decline in net sales during 2010 offset in part by higher advertising costs ($0.5 million) in connection with a successful national radio advertising campaign in the third and fourth quarter of 2010.

Income from operations

Income from operations decreased $3.2 million in the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to the year ended December 31, 2009 based on the factors described above, particularly the decline in net sales

Tridien

Overview

Tridien Medical (formerly known as Anodyne Medical Device, Inc.), (“Tridien”), headquartered in Coral Springs, Florida, is a leading designer and manufacturer of powered and non-powered medical therapeutic support services and patient positioning devices serving the acute care, long-term care and home health care markets. Tridien is one of the nation’s leading designers and manufacturers of specialty therapeutic support surfaces with manufacturing operations in multiple locations to better serve a national customer base.

Tridien, together with its subsidiary companies, provides customers the opportunity to source leading surface technologies from the designer and manufacturer.

 

102


Table of Contents