View Full Version : MasterCraft Investment Partner and Crownline Boats

04-06-2007, 09:33 AM
Found this article....Looks like the investment group has finalized a deal with Crownline boats....

West Frankfort, IL, April 2, 2007 – Pouschine Cook Capital Management, LLC today announced that it has completed a recapitalization of Crownline Boat Company, a leading manufacturer of 18 to 34 foot bowriders, deckboats, sport cuddy cabins and cruisers. Pouschine Cook has partnered with Kevin Riem, Crownline’s Chief Executive Officer, to provide growth capital and acquire a majority ownership position in Crownline. Crownline’s founders, Tim Claxton and Laura Claxton Eader, have retained a significant minority ownership position in the company and will remain active at the board level. Pouschine Cook’s investment follows its prior success with MasterCraft Boat Company, a leading ski and wakeboard boat manufacturer.

04-06-2007, 09:38 AM
Is this an outfit who used to own MC or is currently the holder of MC? I cannot figure it out from that report and am too lazy to go on a search. oh and how ya doin 35th? Gonna be ordering a 40th? :D

04-06-2007, 09:50 AM
I maybe wrong but it appears the current investment group.


Doing well, still hanging out and watching.....We are enjoying the intracostal and boating in the keys too much. So the 40th is not an option. Looking to move into a 26-28 overnighter. We looked at Crownline, but HATED dealing with Bass Pro Shopes, that is their dealer network down here in Florida. Anyways, that is how I ran across this piece of news.

04-06-2007, 10:24 AM
Crownline in West Frankfort IL. is a spin-off of Mark Twain Boats that were made at that same plant up untill 1990. The Mark Twains were a great boat, Dad had two then I got the MasterCraft!

04-06-2007, 06:24 PM
Didn't Coleman buy Mastercraft back in the early 90's? When did they divest and who did they sell to?

04-06-2007, 06:46 PM
Here's what Pouschine-Cook thinks. It's not clear to me what their involvement is in MasterCraft currently and I'm to lazy to look too. I think they're out, although I don't know why MasterCraft is still listed on their web site:

Mastercraft Boat Company

MasterCraft Boat Company ("MasterCraft") was founded in 1968 by Rob Shirley as a builder of top quality boats for water ski professionals. The Company expanded into building luxury recreational inboard runabouts and top-of-the-line competitive wakeboard boats.

MasterCraft is the premier manufacturer of ski, wakeboard and other recreational inboard watercraft. The Company manufactures three lines of inboard powerboats from 19 to 28 feet: (a) ProStar, competitive ski boats, (b) MariStar, recreational runabouts and (c) X-Series, wakeboard boats. All manufacturing is done at the Company's principal manufacturing facility in Vonore, TN. While only having a 3% overall boat market share, MasterCraft is the fourth most recognized boat brand in the U.S. and is first in ski/wakeboard market share.

Pouschine Cook, with its experience and understanding of specialty manufacturing companies selling through dealer networks, was introduced to management when it was known that MasterCraft would likely be sold by its then current owner. Pouschine Cook, which purchased a controlling interest in the Company, invested together with management. Management purchased a significant ownership position and had the ability to grow that position significantly. Transamerica, who is one of the largest financiers of boat dealers in the US, was chosen as the senior lender.

What Pouschine Cook Saw
Although the investment was made at the peak of the economy and markets, Pouschine Cook structured the transaction with substantial equity to mitigate the downside risk due to the cyclicality and seasonality of the business. Although the traditional water ski business was flat to declining (like snow skiing), wakeboarding (like snowboarding) was growing significantly and appeared not to be a fad. MasterCraft was clearly the leader in manufacturing of wakeboarding boats, and had strong dealer network was in place.

Since the investment, MasterCraft has achieved significant organic growth and growth in market share, despite a soft overall boating market. Management has been able to successfully introduce new and improved models. The operations have been consolidated to one location and the capital structure has been strengthened with substantial excess availability under its borrowing facilities. The culture has been transformed to encourage new ideas and the depth of management has been enhanced.

04-06-2007, 07:12 PM
Didn't Coleman buy Mastercraft back in the early 90's? When did they divest and who did they sell to?Coleman bought MasterCraft from Rob Shirley in 1984. In 1994 Coleman was bought by MacAndrews-Forbes (investment firm) which also picked up a bunch of other boating companies such as Boston Whaler. They ultimately sold those off and kept MasterCraft. MasterCraft management subsequently bought it from MacAndrews-Forbes in 1999 with Pouschine-Cook (IIRC) as the investment partner. I believe the MasterCraft did did recapitilize with Wasserstein et al in 2004. I don't know what Wasserstein's relationship is in MasterCraft operations but I suspect that they're just the new money men.

U.S. Equity Partners and Management Acquire Mastercraft

Vonore, TN, November 4, 2004 – U.S. Equity Partners, the buyout arm of the Wasserstein & Co. private equity investment firm, today announced that it has successfully completed a recapitalization of MasterCraft Boat Company. Founded in 1968, MasterCraft is the perennial market share leader in the watersports boat segment and has developed into the fourth most recognized brand in the overall U.S. boating industry.

“We are delighted to be investing with management in this exciting company,” said George Majoros, President of Wasserstein & Co. “MasterCraft’s powerful brands and reputation for quality should provide a solid basis for significant growth.” Robert Fogelson, a Managing Director of Wasserstein said: “We are impressed with MasterCraft’s record of new product development and look forward to working with John Dorton and his team to continue to position the company as a world-class manufacturer of both water sport and general recreational boats.”

John Dorton, President and CEO of MasterCraft, commented: “We have enjoyed our association with Pouschine Cook over the years. They invested significantly in the business and management to make us a much stronger company. We look forward to working with Wasserstein & Co. to continue the aggressive business plan we began implementing four years ago. Wasserstein & Co. has tremendous resources and will help MasterCraft become a truly world class company.”

John Pouschine, the former Chairman of Mastercraft, noted: “We have invested millions of dollars to upgrade the business over the last four years, and the Company is now poised to leverage those investments with its new products and a growing economy.”

MasterCraft Boat Company was advised by Banc of America Securities in this transaction. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP represented U.S. Equity Partners and Schulte, Roth & Zabel LLP represented Pouschine Cook Capital Management.