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Old 11-17-2006, 06:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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NPS and PMI Merge!!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Alex Stockham
Rubenstein Associates
212.843.8297


NATIONAL PAINTBALL SUPPLY AND PURSUIT MARKETING TO COMBINE
Transaction To Create Major Paintball Company

NPS Scheduled To Sell Ecommerce Operations Post-Closing

NEW YORK – November 17, 2006 – The competition between National Paintball Supply, Inc. (“NPS”) and Pursuit Marketing, Inc. (“PMI”) has turned to cooperation, as the two paintball industry pioneers have announced a business combination.

NPS and PMI today announced they have closed separate transactions which have the effect of combining their operations. Angelo, Gordon & Co., a $10 billion alternative asset management firm, with advice from Sagent Advisors Inc., an investment banking firm in New York, provided the equity capital to facilitate the transactions. The combined company will be a full-service provider of the broadest range of paintball products and accessories with a foundation built upon paintball’s premier brands. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

The history of the companies goes back decades. In the spring of 1982, Jeff Perlmutter and David Freeman visited a “Survival Game” location located a couple of hours from Chicago. They both had a great time and came up with a great idea. Their concept was to develop and sell a line of high-quality products that could be used in this game that they enjoyed so much. Over the next 24 years, the two entrepreneurs introduced such brands as R.P., Pure Energy, Piranha and Evil and they grew their idea into PMI, which is now one of the best known and most respected suppliers in the world of paintball.

While Freeman and Perlmutter were traveling the country to compete in various paintball tournaments and growing the game from their Chicago headquarters, an 18-year-old from a small town in South Jersey played his first game of paintball and was immediately hooked. Over the next few years, Gino Postorivo set up a sales counter in the back of his father’s restaurant. Through brands including 32 Degrees, Diablo, Halo and Empire, he grew this business into what is now known as NPS, also among the best known and most respected suppliers in the world’s most exciting extreme sport.


The combined company expects to continue to maintain a world-class paintball manufacturing facility in Tampa as well as to enhance its North American distribution network to reach over 90 percent of the North American population via next day ground service. The company expects to continue to operate a division in the U.K., servicing the growing international market.

Overseeing the combination of business operations isChief Executive Officer, Ray Dombrowski, currently a managing director at management firm Alvarez & Marsal, LLC, along with Chief Financial Officer, Scott Thompson, also of Alvarez & Marsal. The senior executive team reporting to Mr. Dombrowski will be Gino Postorivo, founder of NPS, who will be the President of the new company; Dave Freeman, a co-founder of PMI, who will be Chief Integration Officer; and George Eurick, Chief Operating Officer of PMI, who will be the Chief Operating Officer.

Mr. Postorivo said, “I believe the consolidation of our two companies represents a major step forward in the evolution of the paintball industry. We have always had great respect for PMI and believe this combination will benefit our customers, employees, sponsored teams, and vendors. With the strong financial backing of Angelo, Gordon & Co. and under Ray’s leadership, we all are excited about launching new, state-of-the-art, products and providing unequalled support for our customers.”

Mr. Freeman commented, “Joining our operations together will allow us to combine the strengths of both companies and create the premier supplier of paintball equipment and accessories for all of our customers. The confidence shown in our business by Angelo Gordon is a direct reflection on the talents, dedication and passion of our dedicated employees over the years.”

The combined company is expected to immediately begin considering alternatives for exiting the ecommerce operation of NPS, which is centered around 888PAINTBALL.com. Mr. Dombrowski noted, “It is important that the new company eliminates all conflicts with our valued customers in the traditional and sporting goods sectors. Exiting the retail ecommerce channel will allow us to direct all of our efforts at leveraging the significant potential of the merger to fruition for the benefit of our loyal customers. We look forward to the completion of the integration process and the resulting strengths offered by this ‘One Stop Shop’.”

Brent Leffel, a Managing Director at Angelo Gordon commented, “We believe that paintball is a dynamic, $1 billion segment of the extreme sports industry, which is poised for growth after undergoing a period of rationalization and structural change. NPS and PMI have pioneered the industry with strong brands and a diverse product portfolio. On a combined basis, the company will be the largest in the industry and the only player offering a full complement of products. We believe the combination of our extensive capital base and talents of senior management will allow us to build the pre-eminent company in the paintball industry with a commitment to service, quality, product innovation and understanding of the needs of a loyal customer base and paintball players worldwide.”

For more information, please visit www.nationalpaintball.com or www.pminetwork.com.

About Angelo, Gordon & Co.

Angelo Gordon was founded in 1988 and currently has over 65 investment professionals managing approximately $10 billion in capital across multiple investment strategies. The New York-based long-term equity strategy group currently manages more than $800 million in existing and committed capital.

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Old 11-17-2006, 06:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I just found another story online here:

http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelp...tml?from_rss=1

Title: NPS Sold

National Paintball of Sewell, N.J., and Pursuit Marketing Inc. of Des Plaines, Ill., were bought by a holding company that used an investment from Angelo, Gordon & Co. Inc., a New York asset management firm.

A spokesman, Alex Stockham, said he did not have information on the name of the holding company and that the terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
The paintball companies sell products -- including paintballs in various colors, the "markers" to fire them and goggles -- under Evil, Piranha, Empire and other brand names. NPS also has a showroom in Sewell.

National Paintball founder Gino Postorivo will be president of the combined company.

Stockham said the companies will continue for the time being to operate under the National Paintball and Pursuit Marketing names.

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Bold emphasis is mine... CB
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Old 11-17-2006, 06:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow I wish I would have seen this earlier. I was with some guys from PMI today. I would have loved to hear what they say.
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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ug, another holding company trying to "merge synergies" and "think outside the box" and do other crap like that.
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think they are more looking at having a near monopoly on the paintball market than think out of the box.

Good corporate strategy in my book. Im a PMI man, though.
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I was at the southeast office when the news broke inside. Most of them shook their heads praying that they have jobs in the following weeks. This has been passed around, I found out rumor wise at RPS in clearwater about 3 weeks ago.
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Maybe smartparts will end up on the sh**y end of the stick this time around. It looks like somebody was watching all the money being kicked around and decided to pounce. It will remain to be seen if their customer service goes completely into the toilet with this merger.
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am not thrilled about the "monopoly" that the new corp will have....the competition between pmi and nps may have helped keep them in check as far as prices and customer service. I am quiet skeptical.

They were talking about this last year, and the negotiations fell through.

PMI has always treated me better than NPS (as a dealer). As a small business, I always felt like the NPS rep thought I was a nusiance...I had to actually catch him at his desk to place an order. He would never return my calls or emails. PMI treated me much better. Also, NPS would compete against the retailer with their own retail outlets, while PMI did not do that. The only reason I stayed with NPS was because it was the only place to get some of the stuff my customers wanted.
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Titus had a rumor? Man, I need to set up an anonymous tip line or something...
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yay! Maybe with this merger I won't have to deal with our rep Johnny...


Orders on time and correct, YAY!
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