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L.A. firm buys RV producer Country Coach

February 19, 2007|Josh Friedman | Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles-based Riley Investment Management has gone luxury shopping, buying high-end recreational vehicle maker Country Coach Inc.

The investment firm will pay $38.8 million and assume $13 million in debt to purchase the subsidiary of Perris-based National RV Holdings Inc. The deal is expected to close this week.

The RV industry has been reeling from high gasoline prices, but Junction City, Ore.-based Country Coach has been profitable for 14 straight quarters, said Bryant Riley, managing partner of Riley Investment Management. Riley also is chairman of B. Riley & Co., an investment banking and brokerage firm.

Country Coach vehicles sell for $350,000 to $1 million, Riley said. Bob Lee, who founded the 34-year-old RV maker, is an investor in the deal and will return as chairman emeritus.

National RV sought the deal to help pay down debt and continue its turnaround efforts, the publicly traded company said.

National RV has reported seven straight quarterly losses. Its shares fell 16 cents Friday to $3.24 from a high of more than $18 a share in early 2004.

josh.friedman@latimes.com

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