FORT WAYNE, INDIANA—June 24, 2004—Tippmann Pneumatics, Inc., the premier manufacturer of high-performance paintball markers and accessories in the United States, has completed a financial recapitalization with Summit Partners, a leading private equity and venture capital firm with more than $5.5 billion under management.
Founded in 1986, Tippmann serves the rapidly growing paintball industry. The company has become an industry leader by focusing on product innovation, product quality and reliability, and outstanding customer service and support. Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Tippmann sells its products through specialty paintball dealers and distributors, as well as the mass merchant and sporting goods channels in the United States, with a growing presence in Europe, Australia, and Canada. Tippmann’s products are manufactured in the United States at its new 100,000 square foot facility that opened late last year.
The Tippmann family will continue to have a significant minority interest in the business. Dennis Tippmann, Sr., Founder of Tippmann, will serve on the company’s Board of Directors and provide ongoing consultation to the management team as needed. Dennis Tippmann, Jr. will also serve on the company’s Board and continue full-time as a member of the senior management team to lead the company’s product development effort.
Mr. Tippmann, Sr. commented on the partnership. “Paintball has been the fastest-growing segment of the sporting goods industry in recent years, and Tippmann has grown even faster than the overall market by consistently developing the most reliable markers in the industry. By partnering with Summit Partners as our first professional investor, we can now take our business to the next level and seek complementary acquisitions within the paintball industry to expand our product offering and market share.”
In connection with this transaction, Howard A. Kosick has joined Tippmann as President and CEO. Mr. Kosick has held a number of senior management positions in consumer goods and sporting goods companies, including Bell Sports, Arctic Zone, and Thermos. While he was at Bell Sports, the company became the market leader in bicycle helmets and accessories during the industry’s high-growth period in the 1990s. In his most recent position as CEO of Bell Automotive Products and Bay Travelgear, Mr. Kosick served the mass merchant, sporting goods, and specialty channels—the primary distribution outlets for Tippmann.
As part of the recapitalization, the company plans to change its name to Tippmann Sports, LLC, to better reflect the company’s participation in extreme sports.
“Summit Partners targets privately held companies that have bootstrapped their businesses to profitability and established leadership positions in their industry. Our analysis of Tippmann revealed that their brand equity and reputation for great customer service is second to none in the paintball industry. We are pleased to partner with Tippmann and help it to continue to extend this leadership position,” said E.J. Whelan, Vice President, who will join the company’s Board of Directors along with Joe Trustey, a Managing Partner at Summit Partners.
RSM EquiCo Capital Markets served as advisor for Tippmann on the transaction. Bell, Boyd & Lloyd acted as legal counsel for Tippmann, and Weil Gotschal & Manges LLP acted as legal counsel for Summit Partners.
ABOUT TIPPMANN PNEUMATICS, INC.
Tippmann Pneumatics, Inc. is the premier manufacturer of high performance paintball markers and accessories for extreme sports. Founded in 1986, the company serves the rapidly growing paintball industry from its Fort Wayne, Indiana headquarters. Tippmann sells its products through specialty paintball dealers and distributors, as well as the mass merchant and sporting goods channels in the United States, with a growing presence in Europe, Australia, and Canada. For more information, visit www.tippmann.com.
ABOUT SUMMIT PARTNERS
Summit Partners is a leading private equity and venture capital firm. The firm has a capital base of more than $5.5 billion, with offices in Boston, Palo Alto, and London. Formed in 1984, Summit Partners has provided growth equity, recapitalization, and leveraged buyout financing to more than 255 companies, which have completed more than 105 public offerings and 85 strategic mergers or sales. Summit Partners seeks outstanding management teams that have self-financed their companies to profitability and market leadership in a broad range of emerging growth industries, including technology, healthcare, business and financial services, and industrial and consumer products. For more information, visit www.summitpartners.com.