Competitor Group Endures The Downturn--And Aims To Pay Dividend

Competitor Group Endures The Downturn--And Aims To Pay Dividend
By Rimin Dutt for LBO Wire

9/16/2010 – Falconhead Capital LLC-backed Competitor Group Inc., an endurance sports media and entertainment platform, is doing a refinancing that will result in a dividend for its shareholders.

The amount of the dividend wasn't disclosed. The company was launched in 2007 with the buy of Triathlete Magazine, racing events organizer Elite Running Inc. and Competitor Publishing Inc. 

Falconhead and Competitor Group executives weren't immediately available for comment. 

Competitor Group raised $57.5 million in senior secured debt from Golub Capital. The San Diego company plans to use it for expansion measures and acquisitions.

A Golub representative didn't return a call for comment.

With this deal, the company is "conservatively" capitalized, Falconhead said in a statement. Competitor Group's "strong performance" and attractive market conditions helped it raise the new debt, the firm added. Since the company's founding in 2007, attendance at its events has increased at a 30% compound annual growth rate. The company operates 36 national events that had more than 350,000 participants in 2010.

In 2008, Competitor Group made an add-on deal, buying Inside Communications Inc., which brought it with VeloNews and Inside Triathlon magazines. Along with Triathlete and Competitor magazines, Competitor Group has a combined monthly circulation of more than 800,000. 

Dividend recaps have been on the rise. Abry Partners LLC-backed library research and content company ProQuest LLC plans a $50 million dividend for its owners, according to Moody's Investors Service. Visant Holdings Corp., a school yearbooks and education materials provider backed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, is planning a $515 million dividend, LBO Wire previously reported. 

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