Mergers and Acquisitions

Stark Investments to acquire assets of Minnesota fund; MBO Cleary Advisors adds new division; Skipper Bud’s acquires assets of Heckel’s Marine

Stark Investments to acquire assets of Minnesota fund

St. Francis-based Stark Investments has agreed to purchase the portfolio of Minnesota-based Deephaven Capital Management Inc., one of the largest hedge fund managers based in the Midwest.

Deephaven is the hedge fund unit of Knight Capital Group Inc., a New Jersey-based financial management firm.

Terms of the deal call for Stark to initially pay about $7.3 million for all of the assets of DCM’s fund. The deal also calls for deferred payments of up to $37.4 million between the closing date of the deal and April 15, 2011.

Certain conditions must be met for the deferred and earn-out payments, according to an SEC filing.

The deal will give Deephaven’s investors the opportunity to become investors in Stark funds by contributing proportionate shares in the Deephaven Fund Portfolio, according to a letter to Stark’s shareholders authored by Brian Stark and Mike Roth, founding principals of the firm.

"Some of these positions, where appropriate, will go into the Stark Master Fund portfolio," the letter stated. "The remaining positions, based primarily on their liquidity characteristics, will be put in a side pocket to which the current investors of Shepherd and Stark Investments LP will not have exposure."

The deal is being made without having to draw down Stark’s funds’ excess liquidity.

"This is the clearest possible signal to our financing and counterparty relationships that Stark will be one of the survivors of the industry consolidation and we believe will thereby further significantly strengthen those critical relationships that have been a key source of our success to date," the letter stated. "Finally, the deal should provide Stark with an opportunity to open the door to additional opportunities in similar situations to acquire attractive portfolios and, potentially, investment talent."

MBO Cleary Advisors adds new division

Milwaukee-based MBO Cleary Advisors Inc. has launched the Health Care Investment Advisory Division and added Nicholas Bauer as senior consultant and Steven Backus as client advisor.

Bauer and Backus will be dedicated to providing investment advisory services for not-for-profit health care and senior living organizations.

Stephanie Chedid, president of MBO Cleary, said, "We are excited about the opportunities in the health care sector and the experience that Nick and Steve bring to our new division.  Adding this discipline works well with where our organization is today and with our focused growth plans."

Prior to joining MBO Cleary, Bauer and Backus worked with not-for-profit health care and senior living organizations at The Ziegler Companies. During Ziegler their tenures, they were responsible for developing investment policy statements, asset allocation strategies and risk management techniques that coincided with clients’ capital structures.

MBO Cleary Advisors is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cleary Gull Holdings.

Skipper Bud’s acquires assets of Heckel’s Marine

Pewaukee-based Skipper Bud’s has acquired Heckel’s Marine, an Eagle River boat dealer that has been struggling in the recession.

Skipper Bud’s saw a unique opportunity to purchase assets, including Heckel’s Eagle River property, boats and all parts and accessories in a court-ordered auction.

Skipper Bud’s president Mike Pretasky Jr. said, "We saw an opportunity to purchase many boats under the current market value and we are in position to pass those savings on to our customers in the Midwest."

The company is moving quickly on to distribute the inventory to its stores in Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

These boats will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, and anyone interested in purchasing inventory items will need to contact the Skipper Bud’s in Wisconsin or Northern Illinois to be placed on a waiting list. The contact phone number is (800) 636-2628 or e-mail

Skipper Bud’s has 20 locations throughout the Midwest.

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