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Seffner RV park changes hands

In 1999, employees took ownership of Lazydays RV SuperCenter. Now it is being purchased by a New York firm.

Published April 30, 2004

A New York private equity firm has agreed to acquire Lazydays RV SuperCenter of Seffner for about $206-million, Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Thursday.

The two ratings agencies revealed the transaction in statements assigning ratings of below investment grade to Lazydays' proposed issuance of $155-million in senior notes.

S&P said that proceeds from the new debt issue, combined with equity, "will be used to acquire Lazydays and to refinance existing debt," after which the private equity firm Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. of New York and Lazydays management would own the company.

Moody's added that proceeds from the debt issue as well as $57-million in preferred stock and $5-million in common stock will be used to purchase Lazydays, retire existing debts, which totaled $59-million at the end of 2003, and pay about $11-million in other fees and expenses.

Reached on his cell phone Thursday evening, Lazydays founder and chief executive Don Wallace said "there is no transaction that's been completed. ... I can't comment on that right now." Bruckmann Rosser managing director and chief financial officer Paul Kaminski did not return a message left at his home.

In 1999, Lazydays employees acquired a majority stake in the company from Wallace through their employee stock ownership plan. Moody's noted Thursday that the company underwent a restructuring in 2002 that diluted those holdings, including the employee stock ownership plan.

S&P described Lazydays, which maintains a sprawling 150-acre sales complex in Seffner off Interstate 4, as the nation's largest single-site retailer of recreational vehicles. Lazydays reported in January that its 2003 revenue topped $750-million, with unit sales totalling 8,842, up from 2002 revenue of $696-million on unit sales of 8,174.

S&P credit analyst Martin King said in the statement that the debt issue's downside risk for investors "is limited by the company's established market position, good reputation, and favorable demographics supporting future industry growth." However, King said, upside potential is limited by the company's modest earnings generation and high debt.

- Louis Hau can be reached at or 813 226-3404.

[Last modified April 30, 2004, 01:05:39]

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