Affinity Group Inc.

Affinity Group Inc.
Affinity Group, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Recreational vehicles
Founded 1935
Founder(s) Stephen Adams
Headquarters Ventura, California, U.S.
Revenue increase US$562.2 million
Employees 20+ (2008)
Subsidiaries Good Sam Club, Camping World

Affinity Group (AGI) is a provider of membership clubs, as well as subscription-based products, services and publications, targeted toward recreational vehicle and other outdoor enthusiasts in the United States. Additionally, the company owns Camping World, a leading RV-related specialty retailer and an RV-focused website.

The company is the composite of several distinct businesses acquired through a leveraged buildup in the 1980s and 1990s and traces its earliest predecessors back to 1935.

The company is based in Ventura, California with major operations in Englewood, Colorado and is 97% owned by private equity investor Stephen Adams.



AGI’s antecedents date back to the 1935, with the first publication of the Woodall's Travel Trailer Magazine and the 1941 publication of .[1], followed by the publication of the first Woodall’s directory in 1948. The Good Sam Club was founded in 1966, the same year that the first Camping World location opened in Bowling Green, KY. Coast to Coast Resorts (“Coast to Coast”) and the Golf Card were introduced in 1972 and 1974, respectively.[2][3]

Historical Affinity Group logo
The Good Sam Club logo
The Camping World logo

On December 23, 1988 the direct predecessor of AGI acquired a company called American Bakeries Company, owned by investor Stephen Adams, for approximately $138 million.[4] Adams was a noted private equity investor in the 1980s completing rollups of billboard assets to form Adams Outdoor Advertising and he also owns or has owned various banking, bottling, publishing as well as television and radio companies.[5][6] At the time of the merger, the sole operating assets of American Bakeries Company were TL Enterprises, Inc. and Camp Coast to Coast, Inc. These entities consisted of what is today the Good Sam Club, Coast to Coast, AGI’s subscription-based products and services business and the Company’s RV-related publications, with the exception of the Woodall’s titles.[7][8]

From 1990 through 1997 the Company made a number of significant acquisitions that expanded AGI’s scale and presence. In 1990, the Company acquired Golf Card International, Inc. for approximately $18 million. Subsequently, in May 1994, AGI acquired Woodall Publishing Company, L.P. and Woodall World of Travel, L.P. (collectively Woodall’s) for approximately $11.5 million.

In October 1993, AGI completed a leveraged recapitalization consisting of a $50.0 million credit facility and a $120.0 million of 11½% AGI senior subordinated notes due 2003. As part of the recapitalization, Stephen Adams increased his fully diluted ownership from approximately 71% to approximately 97%.

In 1995, AGI acquired San Francisco Thrift and Loan (founded in 1982) and the company’s headquarters were relocated to Ventura, California. In 1997 the bank was renamed Affinity Bank and in 1999, AGI transferred ownership to Affinity Bank Holdings, Inc. a separate entity controlled by Adams[9]

U.S. bank regulators closed Affinity Bank of Ventura, California on August 28, 2009. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said Affinity had $1 billion in assets and about $922 million in deposits. Pacific Western Bank of San Diego agreed to assume all the deposits of Affinity. Affinity Bank had 10 branches. The FDIC estimates Affinity's failure will cost its deposit insurance fund $254 million.

In March 1997, as part of the Company’s $130.0 million offering of the holding company notes due 2007, AGI acquired Camping World, Inc. and Ehlert Publishing for approximately $123.0 million and $22.3 million, respectively.[10][11][12]

Subsequently, the Company focused on integrating its operations and repaying indebtedness. In October 1998, the Company issued $200.0 million of senior secured credit facilities to repay its then existing senior credit facility as well as the AGI Subordinated Notes, and in December 2001 the Company completed a $52.3 million property sale / leaseback transaction, the proceeds of which were used to repay senior indebtedness.

On August 15, 2009, AGI failed to make a $6.2 million interest payment to bondholders, and Standard & Poors subsequently lowered AGI's credit rating to D. Standard & Poor reported that they had taken this view because bondholders will be receiving less than par value for the notes and because of the company's highly leveraged financial profile, weak operating outlook, and limited liquidity given the near-term maturity of its senior credit facility.

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Affinity Group — Activism= *An affinity group can refer to a small group of political activistsCompanies*Affinity Group Inc. or Affinity Group Holding Inc. is a provider of products and services to the recreational vehicle (RV) market and owns the Good Sam Club… …   Wikipedia

  • Ethnic group — Ethnicity redirects here. For the 2003 kayla listening album, see Ethnicity (Yanni album). Peoples redirects here. For the defunct chain of department stores, see Peoples (store). For jewelry store chain in Canada, see Zale Corporation. An ethnic …   Wikipedia

  • Anonymous (group) — Anonymous A flag conveying symbolism associated with Anonymous. The imagery of the suit without a head represents leaderless orga …   Wikipedia

  • Affinion Group — Affinion Group, formerly known as Trilegiant Corporation (TLG), Progeny Marketing Innovations, Benefit Consultants Inc., Cendant, CUC International, and Comp U Card, is an affinity marketer of membership, insurance, package enhancement, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Stephen Adams (business) — Infobox Person name = Stephen Adams caption = birth date = 1937 birth place = Minnesota death date = death place = other names = known for = employer = Affinity Group, Inc., Adams Outdoor Advertising occupation = Private equity investor education …   Wikipedia

  • Good Sam Club — The Good Sam Club is an international organization of recreational vehicle owners. Its primary goals are to make RVing safer and more enjoyable, and to save members money through Club endorsed benefits and services. It claims over a million… …   Wikipedia

  • Camping World — began in 1966 with a small store in Beech Bend Park, an amusement park outside of Bowling Green which billed its campground as the world s largest. Campers at the park were requesting a store where they could buy supplies, so David Garvin son of… …   Wikipedia

  • Recreational vehicle — This article is about the vehicle. For the film, see RV (film). RV redirects here. For other uses, see RV (disambiguation). A Class A motorhome with slide out extended floors …   Wikipedia

  • RV park — A recreational vehicle park (RV park) or caravan park is a place where people with recreational vehicles can stay overnight, or longer, in alloted spaces known as pitches. They are also referred to as campgrounds, though a true campground also… …   Wikipedia

  • AFFI — Affinity Technical Group, Inc. (Business » NASDAQ Symbols) …   Abbreviations dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”