Baird Advised Reorganization of Star Trac Closes

Transaction Marks the Team’s Third Successful Fitness Deal in Last Eight Months

MILWAUKEE, July 28, 2010

The Baird-advised reorganization of Star Trac, a global leader in the commercial fitness industry, has been completed, offering a fresh start for the established fitness brand and marking the third successful fitness industry transaction for Baird’s Consumer Investment Banking Team in the last eight months. With Michael Bruno’s purchase of the company, Star Trac will have an opportunity to re-focus its efforts to providing high quality equipment that its customers and industry insiders have come to know well. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Baird, an employee-owned, international investment banking, private equity, wealth and asset management firm, served as the exclusive financial advisor to Star Trac in this transaction, led by Joe Pellegrini, Managing Director, and Kurt Roth, Director, on the Consumer Investment Banking Team, and Bill Welnhofer, Managing Director, on the Restructuring Team.

“We are pleased that Baird was able to help provide this well-known brand with a clean slate and an opportunity to capitalize on some of the new technologies and equipment it has in the pipeline,” said Pellegrini.

The Star Trac transaction is Baird’s third major fitness industry transaction within the last nine months. Baird sold Nautilus Inc.’s commercial strength and cardio lines, as well as its manufacturing plant in Independence, Virginia, to Med-Fit Systems, Inc. in February. The firm also sold Nautilus’ StairMaster and certain assets of Schwinn Fitness to Land America Health and Fitness Co., Ltd., Michael Bruno’s organization, in December.

Pellegrini added, “After the two successful Nautilus transactions, we had great insights on who might make a good business partner for Star Trac. Michael Bruno was a logical option.”

Pellegrini continued, “There is a lot of fierce competition in the industry today. Consumers have a strong sense of purpose when it comes to their health and fitness needs and goals. They are becoming savvier, demanding new, cutting edge programming. Given that dynamic and the volatile economic backdrop, every industry participant should be taking a closer look at their business plan to determine how it will continue to meet changing demand.”

About Star Trac and Michael Bruno
Based in Irvine, California and founded in 1979, Star Trac is one of the premier platforms in the global commercial fitness equipment industry. Star Trac manufactures and markets a complete line of cardiovascular and strength equipment, including E-Series Cardio, Impact Strength, HumanSport Strength, the Instinct Circuit program and the recently launched Inspiration line. Over 4 million people in over 75 countries exercise on Star Trac equipment daily in health clubs, hotels, apartment complexes, therapy centers, universities, corporate gyms and on military facilities.Michael Bruno, a highly respected fitness industry veteran for more than 20 years, is also the owner of Vancouver, Washington-based Stairmaster and Land America Health and Fitness Co., Ltd.,, a manufacturing firm in China that builds high-end consumer and commercial fitness equipment. On behalf of Nautilus, Baird negotiated the sale of Stairmaster to Land America in December 2009.

About Baird’s Investment Banking group
Recognized as the 2008 “Middle Market Investment Bank of the Year” by Buyouts magazine, Baird is a leading international investment bank focused on the middle market. Approximately 140 investment banking professionals in the U.S., Europe and Asia provide corporations with in-depth market knowledge and extensive experience in merger and acquisition and equity financing transactions. Over the past 10 years, Baird has advised on over 620 M&A and financing transactions with a total value of $107 billion. Over the past five years, European and transatlantic assignments have accounted for approximately one-third of our M&A transactions. In addition to the Buyouts award, Baird received “Deal of the Year” recognition from The M&A Advisor in 2008 for the fourth straight year, and was named “Manufacturing Sector Adviser of the Year” in 2008 and 2009 by Acquisitions Monthly in the UK.

About Baird
Baird is an employee-owned, international wealth management, capital markets, private equity and asset management firm with offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Established in 1919, Baird has more than 2,400 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients. Baird oversees and manages client assets of more than $78 billion. Committed to being a great place to work, Baird ranked number 14 on FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2009 -- its sixth consecutive year on the list. Baird’s principal operating subsidiaries are Robert W. Baird & Co. in the United States and Robert W. Baird Group Ltd. in Europe. Baird also has operating subsidiaries in Asia supporting Baird’s private equity and investment banking operations. For more information, please visit Baird’s Web site at

For additional information contact:
Anne Crago 
Baird Public Relations