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Jan. 21, 2008 – Manufacturer Fox Racing Shox gets new majority owner

January 21, 2008
Filed under Features

By Karin Gelschus
Associate Editor
Compass Diversified Holdings, an acquisition and management firm, has purchased a majority interest in aftermarket manufacturer Fox Racing Shox.
The move allows Fox Racing Shox to further strengthen its design and engineering efforts, as well as pursue additional market opportunities, company officials told Powersports Business. Fox Racing has grown considerably during the past few years, reaching sales of $100 million in 2007.
Elayna Caldwell, Fox Shox’s marketing manger, says the move is happening now because of the company’s rapid growth.
“You need growth, and it was up to [Company Founder Bob Fox] to finance it,” Caldwell said. “In financial terms, this was time. He felt like he would be holding us back from the growth if we didn’t have more of an investment.”
New majority owner Compass Diversified Holdings, which was initially listed on NASDAQ in May 2006, has a majority interest in a number of other companies outside of the powersports industry. Some of those companies include CBS Personnel, a temporary staffing service provider, Aeroglide, a global designer and manufacturer of industrial drying and cooling equipment, and Silvue Technologies Group, a manufacturer of coating systems used in the eyewear, aerospace and automotive markets.
Bob Fox will keep significant ownership in the company despite additional senior managers. Fox says this move marks the next chapter in the company’s history.
“Being a successful, healthy company, Fox had the luxury of being able to carefully search out and select the best partner for this transition,” Fox said in a press release. “The financial strength and resources Compass provides will enable Fox to continue our strong growth and leadership in all of our markets. Importantly, the Compass vision provides a transition that will be seamless and virtually invisible to all concerned, including customers, vendors and employees.”
In search of the extra resources, Fox Racing initially contacted a major international investment banking firm a few years ago and then worked with and were guided by the banking firm throughout the entire process, Fox Racing told Powersports Business.
Fox looked for a partner that would allow it to continue to satisfy its customers as in the past. Fox says they were also looking for a transition that would keep the experienced management team in place.
With a smooth transition, Fox recognizes the company will get stronger with the agreement.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done so far,” Fox said in the release, “and know Fox will be a stronger company going forward than I alone had the resources to provide for.”

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