Mobile Home News
News / Champion

Champion Enterprises Acquires Highland Manufacturing from Norwest Equity Partners
$23 Million deal adds to Champion's growing modular market share Expands Champion's presence in the north central United States

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 31, 2006
Champion Enterprises, Inc., a leader in factory-built construction, announced today that it has acquired Minnesota-based Highland Manufacturing Company, LLC. The debt-free transaction is valued at $23 million in cash and will be immediately accretive to Champion's results.

Highland Manufacturing, a leading regional manufacturer with a significant presence in the north central United States, produces both manufactured and modular homes from a single factory in Worthington, Minnesota. More than 60 percent of its current production is modular, representing its most significant growth area over the past several years.

Greg DeGroot will remain president of Highland and join Champion's western region management team. Highland's expected 2006 sales are approximately $32 million.

"This acquisition is another important step in furthering the strategy to expand our modular market share. By acquiring Highland, we will increase our manufacturing, distribution and builder / developer coverage in several key states currently underserved by Champion," said William Griffiths, chairman, president and CEO of Champion. "Highland has posted steady and consistent sales and margin expansion over the past five years. Greg and the rest of the Highland team have built an extremely well-run organization with an excellent reputation and dedication to quality and service."

Highland Manufacturing has been a portfolio company of Minneapolis-based private equity investment firm Norwest Equity Partners ("NEP") since April 2000. Steven Farsht, NEP partner and Highland board member said, "Joining forces with Champion is a great fit for Highland and its management team. Highland has made good progress growing its business through modular sales while, at the same time, continuing to increase its HUD code market share."

"On behalf of our entire management team, we are excited to join the Champion family," said DeGroot. "We will be able to leverage Champion's national purchasing power and initiate their lean manufacturing program to further enhance our operations."

About Champion
Champion Enterprises, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., a leader in factory-built construction, has produced more than 1.6 million homes through its family of homebuilders since 1953. Today, Champion operates 33 manufacturing facilities in North America and partners with over 3,000 independent retailers, builders and developers. For more information, please visit http://www.championhomes.com .

About Highland Manufacturing
Since 1986, Highland Manufacturing has been producing high-quality modular and mobile homes. Today, Highland, recognized as a premier builder of quality homes, offers homes in Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming. For more information, please visit http://www.highlandmanufacturing.com .

About Norwest Equity Partners
Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) focuses on providing profitable and growing middle market companies with $20 million - $80 million equity investments primarily through management buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth financings. Since NEP's founding in 1961, it has earned a reputation as one of the premier private equity investment firms in the United States. Currently, NEP has in excess of $3 billion in capital under management and offices located in Minneapolis and Los Angeles. For more information, please visit http://www.nep.com .

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains certain statements, including statements regarding accretion, sales, market coverage and the financial position of both Champion and Highland, which could be construed to be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.

These statements reflect the Company's views with respect to future plans, events and financial performance. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update the information contained herein, which speaks only as of the date of this press release. The Company has identified certain risk factors which could cause actual results and plans to differ substantially from those included in the forward-looking statements. These factors are discussed in the Company's most recently filed Form 10-K and other SEC filings, in each case under the section entitled "Forward-Looking Statements," and those discussions regarding risk factors are incorporated herein by reference.

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Conneticut
Delaware
FLORIDA
  •   Lake City
  •   Ocala
  •   Plant City
  • Georgia
    Hawaii
    Idaho
    Illinois
    INDIANA
  •   Garrett
  •   Topeka
  • Iowa
    Kansas
    Kentucky
    Louisiana
    Maine
    Maryland
    Massachusetts
    Michigan
    Minnesota
    Mississippi
    Missouri
    Montana
    Nebraska
    Nevada
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    New Mexico
    New York
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    Ohio
    Oklahoma
    OREGON
  •   McMinnville
  •   Woodburn
  • Pennsylvania
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina
    South Dakota
    Tennessee
    TEXAS
  •   Athens
  •   Burleson
  •   Seguin
  • Utah
    Vermont
    Virginia
    Washington
    West Virginia
    Wisconsin
    Wyoming