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The Globe and Mail

Private equity firm offers $321.5-million for Winnebago

The Winnebago logo is seen in this June, 2007 file photo. The motor home manufacturer has announced that it received an unsolicited buyout offer worth $321.5-million from private equity firm North Street Capital LP.

Douglas Pizac/AP

Winnebago Industries Inc. said it received an unsolicited buyout offer from North Street Capital LP, the investment firm of racing car enthusiast Alex Mascioli, valuing the number one U.S. motor homes maker at $321.5-million.

The company said it has not received enough information to call the $11-per-share offer as credible, and asked its shareholders not to take any action.

North Street's offer is a 29 per cent premium to Winnebago's Thursday closing price.

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Last year, North Street agreed to buy Spyker, the maker of luxury sports cars featured in Hollywood films such as The Pink Panther and Basic Instinct 2, from Swedish Automobile for around €32-million.

Winnebago, known for its large, luxurious touring buses that provide home-like comfort on the road, said its board will review any additional information relating to the offer and respond in due course.

The offer is highly conditional, requiring due diligence and further negotiation, Winnebago added.

The company has been struggling in recent years as consumers put off spending on big-ticket items such as recreational vehicles in a weak economy.

Its shares jumped 17 per cent to $9.97 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. They have lost about 50 per cent of their value in the last 12 months.

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