View Full Version : Heartland RVs, LLC Update - Catterton Investment and the Future

03-20-2007, 10:08 AM
Post made by Admin on behalf of Heartland RVs, LLC



Date: March 20, 2007

To: The Heartland Owner’s Club

Dear Valued Heartland Owners,

In an effort to keep you updated and “in the know” about what is going on here at Heartland, I’d like to share some great news with you. As you may have heard, it was recently announced that Heartland has received an equity investment from Catterton Partners, one of the nation’s leading consumer-focused private equity firms. This capital investment will support Heartland’s continued growth and record of product innovation. Heartland’s founders maintain a substantial ownership position in the Company and will continue to lead Heartland’s design, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and customer service initiatives. If you are wondering just who Catterton Partners is, with more than $2 billion under management, Catterton Partners is a leading private equity firm in the U.S. focused exclusively on the consumer industry. Since its founding in 1990, Catterton has leveraged its investment capital, strategic and operating skills, and network of industry contacts to establish one of the strongest investment track records in the consumer industry. Catterton has led investments in companies such as Breyers® Yogurt Company, Wellness Pet Food, Liberty Safe, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Cheddar’s Restaurant Holdings Inc., P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, First Watch Restaurants, Frederic Fekkai, Kettle Foods, Farley’s and Sathers Candy Co., and Odwalla, Inc.
What does this investment mean to you? My partner, and Heartland’s CEO Brian Brady, had this to say, “With the investment from Catterton, we expect Heartland to get even better, not just bigger, while remaining true to our vision of building quality towables that meet the needs of today’s RV owners. We have seen unprecedented demand for Heartland’s products from dealers and RV enthusiasts alike. With the financial resources and strategic insight provided by Catterton, we will be better able to thoughtfully meet this growing demand and propel Heartland to new heights – in design, innovation, product offerings, and customer service.”
“Heartland is a leader in towables, the most attractive segment of the RV industry,” said Scott Dahnke, Managing Partner of Catterton. “The Company’s growth has been driven by a loyal group of satisfied owners and dealers. Like Heartland’s customers, we at Catterton were drawn to the differentiated benefits of the Company’s products. These unique attributes, together with the founders’ penchant for innovation and the quality of the management team overall, provide a foundation for continued success. Indeed, these are elements that we seek in all of the investments we make. We look forward to working with Heartland’s industry-veteran leadership team to raise the bar, yet again, in RV standards.”

Catterton Partners has a history of taking companies that do it right and helping them gain national exposure while improving their internal systems and overall customer satisfaction. They have given us the tools to continue our growth – the right way – and we are very excited as we enter this new chapter in the Heartland story.

There’s also some exciting news to share regarding our flagship fifth wheel, the LANDMARK. As you know, the Landmark was Heartland’s first foray into the RV market place. Many of our unique designs and innovations came from spending numerous hours speaking with fifth wheel owners such as yourself. The result of those first Landmark fifth wheels hitting the marketplace has been the unprecedented growth and success story of a small, little-known RV manufacturer as it grew into one of the unquestioned leaders in the towable marketplace. Over the last two years, we have been able to successfully incorporate many of the outstanding Landmark designs into more affordably priced units (i.e. Bighorn; Sundance; Cyclone; Big Country), making Heartland fifth wheels one of the best values on the market. We have quickly risen into the Top Ten of all fifth wheel manufactures, and will soon be knocking on the door of the Top Five.
As the rate of manufacture of Landmarks has slowed over the last year, contrary to some rumors, we have continued producing them for our dealers and customers as ordered. Now, we see the market demand for this level of luxury fifth wheel once again gaining momentum. I’m excited to share that the Heartland team has been spending a lot of time on the re-design and engineering of the next generation of Landmark, which we expect to introduce to the market during the second quarter of this year. Where did the ideas and concepts for the new Landmark come from? YOU! We have again listened to what experienced fifth wheel owners have to say. We have read your comments and suggestions on the Heartland Owners Forum, as well as gleaned from your letters and emails and we are confident that the new Landmark will not disappoint.
In closing, on behalf of the other owners here at Heartland, we want you to know that we really do appreciate the opportunity you have provided to us by purchasing our fifth wheels and giving us valuable feedback on the product. We know why we have been successful and we give a lot of the credit to you, our customers. Two way communication is a great thing and we do not overlook that factor in our success. While there have been a few quality missteps along they way during this incredible growth period, we continue to do our best to make sure that our customers know and experience Heartland’s commitment to them after the sale. We are truly committed to customer satisfaction. We understand that is how we will be judged over the long haul – and we are in this for the long haul. With the investment from Catteron Partners, I am confident that we will be able to continue to improve both our products and our service after that sale. Thanks for being a part of the Heartland “family” and we look forward to seeing some of you at the upcoming Heartland Rally in June.


Scott Tuttle
Heartland Recreational Vehicles